BOSTON (SHNS) – The federal government on Monday announced another part of its strategy to speed vaccinations — paying vaccinators more money and ensuring that vaccinations will continue to be free to those who receive them.

The Medicare reimbursement rate for administering vaccines will nearly double from $23 to $40 per shot. In addition, under the $1.9 trillion spending bill signed by President Biden last week, the federal government will now cover 100 percent of the cost for Medicaid and children’s health insurance beneficiaries to get vaccinated.

“This protects states from bearing any costs associated with the increased Medicare reimbursement rates,” Acting Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Andy Slavitt said. “And the Biden administration stands ready to work with states who are interested in increasing their Medicaid reimbursement rates for vaccinations so that we can make sure that we have most effectively reached vulnerable communities. This is an important health equity step, as working and lower-income Americans have faced the brunt of this crisis and must receive the resources needed to protect them.”

MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, already reimburses providers $45 a shot for COVID-19 vaccinate, or $90 for two doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

The two moves show the federal government is “doing more than saying thank you to all the people we call heroes,” Slavitt said.