COVID-19 vaccine providers Pfizer and Moderna have raised their vaccine prices. Reports that the latest supply contracts signed between the European Union and the COVID-19 vaccine providers indicate higher prices began to make the headlines on Sunday.
Allegedly the price of the Pfizer vaccine went from €15.50 ($18.40) to €19.50 ($23.15), while Moderna’s new vaccine price is €21.48 ($25.50). The latter went up from the €19.00 ($22.60) initially charged but remained lower than the agreed-upon price of €24.00 ($28.50).
Reportedly, Pfizer refused to comment on the supply contracts, “Beyond the redacted contract(s) published by the EC, the content remains confidential and so we won’t be commenting.” At the same time, Moderna was not immediately available for comments.
The European Union has announced that it is on course to fully vaccinate at least 70% of the adult population by the end of summer. On July 27th, the European Commission announced that at least 70% of the adult population had received their first dose, while 57% were fully vaccinated.
“EU countries are keen to stamp out the spread of the Delta variant […] And the EU and countries beyond are mulling the possibility of administering a booster jab to improve efficacy,” explained Neave Barker, Al Jazeera’s correspondent.
“Vaccines must win the race over variants,” said Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, in a Twitter post.
Although the EU experienced a slow start compared to the US or UK, it is now picking up speed. With Pfizer and Moderna ramping up their supplies over the past few months, Ursula von der Leyen has commented that the EU was now among the world leaders in terms of vaccination. “The catch-up process has been very successful – but we need to keep up the effort,” she said.
Pfizer and Moderna, both of which use the mRNA vaccine technology, earn a profit from the vaccines. Both companies have undoubtedly pulled in billions from the vaccine sales. Just last week, Pfizer reported vaccine revenues of approximately $8 billion in its second quarter. The company also raised its vaccine revenue forecast from $26 to $33.5 billion in 2021.
On the other hand, lower-priced vaccines like AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson have seen many bumps in the road, including chain disruptions and side effects concerns. Not to mention that their efficacy rate dwindles when compared to the mRNA vaccines.
These are precisely the kind of concerns that led Moderna and Pfizer back to the negotiating table with some fresh leverage.
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