Maybe, maybe, one or more COVID-19 vaccines may be in production. Five new coronavirus vaccines are currently being tested later. If all goes well, Americans may receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine in the first half of next year.
As you might expect, the development of a vaccine requires a lot of money. Should you pay a high price for the COVID-19 vaccine? In fact, you may not be surprised at how much money to buy a coronavirus vaccine.
A good sticker shock
The price of the flu vaccine is usually around US$40. The cost of two injections of the new shingles vaccine is nearly $300. Will the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine be moderate? Do not. Guess lower. Much lower.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) intends to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Americans located in the following areas free. That’s right, your price is $0.
We are not only talking about Medicare membership. It’s not just low-income people who are free. HHS publicly stated that the approved COVID-19 vaccine will be “free to the American people.” This includes everyone, regardless of your age, income or type of health plan.
Of course, some money may change hands. Your healthcare provider will be allowed to charge the insurance company to manage the COVID-19 vaccine. However, this is normal for vaccines purchased by the government. It will be the insurance company to share the cash on your behalf.
The price you can’t see but still have to pay
You may have heard the expression that there is no free lunch. Well, there is no such thing as a free vaccine. You cannot see the price of the COVID-19 vaccine, but you may still pay.
Sometimes it is easy to forget that when the US government purchases something, it is ultimately borne by the taxpayer. If you pay federal taxes, you will indirectly pay for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The U.S. government plans to purchase 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the U.S. government Pfizer (New York Stock Exchange: PFE) with Biological Technology, Assuming that the main candidates of these two drugmakers have obtained FDA approval or emergency use authorization. It paid US$1.95 billion, which is equivalent to a price of US$19.50 per dose.
If the cost of $1.95 billion is allocated to approximately 119.5 million taxpayers, each taxpayer will spend more than $16. However, you did pay more.
In March, HHS announced that it would provide $456 million in funding for the following projects: Johnson & Johnsons (New York Stock Exchange: JNJ) COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The department pledged US$483 million in April for modernof (Nasdaq stock code: MRNA) Experimental coronavirus vaccine.
In May of this year, HHS agreed to pay 1.2 billion US dollars AstraZeneca (New York Stock Exchange: AZN) Support the development and manufacture of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222. And in July, the US government and Novax Obtained 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidates in exchange for $1.6 billion in funding.
Just last week, Sanofi with GlaxoSmithKline An agreement was reached with the US government to provide 100 million doses of vaccine candidates currently in preclinical testing. The total price of the agreement is as high as $2.1 billion, including funds for the clinical development process.
In addition to these agreements, HHS also pays Emerging biological solutions According to the existing contract signed with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the value of the contract is US$628 million. Some of them are used to make COVID-19 vaccines, but some will also be used in emerging biological solutions to help treat the new coronavirus disease.
Even if we do not reach an HHS agreement with Emergent, the US government will still pay a total of more than 6.1 billion US dollars for the COVID-19 vaccine. This means that each U.S. taxpayer’s bill exceeds $51. Obviously, the “free” coronavirus vaccine that is expected on the way will not be truly free.
The price of the COVID-19 vaccine may also rise. For example, both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson said they will not try to profit from vaccines during the pandemic. However, even after the pandemic is officially over, the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine may still be high. This may lay the foundation for large pharmaceutical companies to increase prices.
The dose of vaccine that the US government will purchase and provide for free will almost certainly be restricted. Once the current medical crisis is over, you may need to buy the COVID-19 vaccine out of your pocket.
How much is that? Moderna can provide hints. According to reports, the biotech company is considering pricing its COVID-19 vaccine in the United States at between US$50 and US$60 per dose. Other drug makers may eventually set prices within this universal range.
Future price increases in the healthcare industry? This is not surprising at all.