MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Local leaders have been pleading with people to get their vaccines for months.

“Vaccinations are the key to getting out of this in the long-term,” Memphis Chief Operating Officer Doug McGowen said on July 29.

The messaging worked for Prince Page, 26; he decided to get his this summer.

“I got my vaccine simply to do my part,” Page said.

He got both of them through Christ Community Health Services, a South Memphis faith-based healthcare provider. They gave him the first one at a clinic at Lemoyne Owen College and he went to their office on South Third Street for his second.

“It was very quick. Didn’t experience any complications or anything like that,” he said.

But a complication did pop up much later when he got a bill for $111 in the mail.

“I honestly thought the vaccination was a free process,” he said.

He’s right; COVID-19 vaccines are all free. According to the Food and Drug Administration’s website, “you do not need to pay any out-of-pocket costs to get a COVID-19 vaccine… If someone asks you to pay, it is either a scam or a mistake.”

The Problem Solvers asked Christ Community how someone would get charged more than $100 for their vaccine.

“So what would’ve happened, it’s still a manual process,” said Joyce Alexander, revenue cycle manager.

When they give someone a vaccine, the bill is supposed to get sent either to their insurance or to the federal government, she said. But occasionally, some papers slip through the cracks, especially at a busy event.

“It’s only been a handful and we’ve distributed thousands of vaccines,” she said of the number of mistaken bills sent out. “We apologize for him getting a bill but we, he can telephone us, email us, reach out to our sites and we can take care of it that way.”

They did take care of this mistake for Page and confirmed to the Problem Solvers they adjusted his bill. Page doesn’t owe any charges.

But, Page knew what happened to him could discourage others from getting the vaccine if they think they might have to pay.

“It would impact a lot of people’s decision to get it,” Page said.

Alexander said her organization is working harder to prevent the issue from happening.

“We have a process where we’re going through these demographic materials every day,” she said.

If you received any kind of bill for a COVID-19 vaccine, you should contact the provider immediately. All COVID-19 vaccines are free, regardless of where you get them.