Public Health Emergency to End May 11

NCPA May 10, 2023

The Public Health Emergency (PHE) is slated to end on Thursday, May 11, 2023. With it comes changes to flexibilities currently in place. Here are a few changes you should be aware of:

Vaccines and Treatments

  • Pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and pharmacy technicians will maintain flexibility to provide COVID-19 and influenza vaccines for ages 3 and up through December 2024 according to an announcement regarding a future PREP Act amendment, however, pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and pharmacy technicians will not be able to provide routine childhood immunizations after May 11, 2023

  • The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) plans to provide COVID-19 vaccines and COVID-19 treatments to the uninsured after the end of the PHE through the HHS Bridge. It will launch at transition and will leverage existing infrastructure of health departments, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), and public private partnerships.

  • For those with most types of private insurance, COVID-19 vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) are a preventive health service and will be fully covered without a co-pay when provided by an in-network provider.

  • Currently, COVID-19 vaccinations are covered under Medicare Part B without cost sharing, and this will continue.

  • Medicare Advantage plans must also cover COVID-19 vaccinations in-network without cost sharing, and this will continue.

  • Medicaid will continue to cover COVID-19 vaccinations without a co-pay or cost sharing through September 30, 2024 and will generally cover ACIP-recommended vaccines for most beneficiaries thereafter.

  • Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for COVID-19 products including tests, vaccines, and treatments, will not be affected. More information is available from FDA here.


  • For Medicare beneficiaries, COVID-19 tests can no longer be ordered by pharmacies, and must be ordered by a physician or certain other health care providers, such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners

  • The program allowing Medicare coverage and payment for OTC COVID-19 tests will end on May 11, 2023.

  • Requirement for private insurance companies to cover COVID-19 tests without cost-sharing for OTC and laboratory tests will expire on May 11, 2023.


  • Telemedicine flexibilities for providing opioid use disorder treatments will be extended through November 11, 2023. More information to come on this temporary rule. See the announcement here.

HHS also stated in their briefing that the end of the PHE will not affect commercialization of products and that they prioritize maintaining equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments after the end of the PHE. For more information, please visit the Fact Sheet: End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency or the Medical Countermeasure Commercialization documents provided by HHS.