After the United States government’s current purchasing program expires, Pfizer Inc. aims to almost triple the cost of its COVID-19 vaccine to between $110 and $130 per dosage, according to Pfizer CEO Angela Lukin.
Lukin says that anyone with private insurance or government-sponsored insurance will likely still be able to get the vaccine for free. Right now, the government gives everyone the vaccine for free.
Vaccine makers want to raise prices
Wall Street, according to Reuters, expected these price hikes on Thursday because there wasn’t much demand for COVID vaccines. This meant that vaccine makers would have to raise prices to match revenue projections until 2023 and beyond.
Currently, the American government pays Pfizer and their German partner, BioNTech SE, about $30 per dose (22UAy.DE). As soon as the public health emergency in the United States ends in 2023, the market is anticipated to switch to private insurance.
According to Lukin, “We are certain that the COVID-19 vaccine’s U.S. price point represents its total cost effectiveness and assures that the cost won’t be a barrier for patients to access.”
We don’t yet know what kind of vaccine access folks without health insurance will have.
Pfizer says that the COVID-19 market for adults should be about the same size as the flu vaccine market each year. However, based on the number of injections given so far, the market for children will take longer to grow.
Despite more people being eligible for the shots, the U.S. rollout of upgraded COVID-19 booster shots, which target both the original coronavirus strain and the Omicron strain, has trailed behind last year’s rate.
Over the first six weeks of the new injections’ distribution, about 14.8 million Americans received a booster shot. Even though only older and immunocompromised people were eligible at that time, almost 22 million people received their third shot in the first six weeks of the 2021 revaccination campaign.
At the earliest, Lukin added, she does not anticipate the purchase of the vaccinations moving to the private sector until the first quarter of 2023. The move is based on the fact that the government-ordered supply has run out.