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According to a report from Reuters, Pfizer President Angela Lukin announced on Thursday that the pharmaceutical giant will charge between $110 and $130 per dose, although the treatment will be available at no cost to Americans with private or government insurance. “We are confident that the U.S. price point of the COVID-19 vaccine reflects its overall cost effectiveness and ensures the price will not be a barrier for access for patients,” she remarked.
Lukin added that the private sector will not begin handling vaccine purchases until 2023 “at the earliest,” dependent upon the depletion of the current government supply.
The United States has purchased hundreds of millions of vaccine doses from Pfizer, which partnered with BioNTech to manufacture the product. In one recent deal, the federal government bought 105 million doses for $3.2 billion, implying a cost of slightly more than $30 per dose.
Pfizer said that the market for COVID vaccines will be as large as the market for flu shots for adults, although more time will be necessary for business to grow in the pediatric market. Pfizer CEO Albert Boula said that he hopes COVID will be “controlled” by annual vaccinations and pills for individuals who contract the virus. “We will have perfectly normal lives, with just injection maybe once a year. And the pill in case we are sick will make it more flu like rather than life-threatening disease,” Boula remarked during a recent interview, adding that “two doses of the vaccine offers very limited protection, if any.”
Nevertheless, Pfizer President of International Developed Markets Janine Small confessed during testimony before the European Parliament that her company never tested its vaccine to determine whether it stopped transmission. She added that no such tests were conducted because the world was facing a pressing health crisis, and insisted that the vaccine, which Pfizer believes protects people from getting COVID or reduces mortality for those who contract the virus, had to be made quickly available.
“We had to really move at the speed of science to really understand what is taking place in the market, and from that point of view we had to do everything at risk,” Small said.
As of last year, British nonprofit Oxfam America found that Pfizer and Moderna had been “charging governments as much as $41 billion above the estimated cost of production,” since the shots can reportedly be produced for as little as $1.20 per dose.
COVID vaccine mandates have been the center of considerable political controversy across the world over the past two years as government agencies, universities, and corporations pressed individuals to receive the inoculations. Most recently, a panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that COVID vaccines be added to the childhood vaccination program in the United States.
Most localities, however, have begun rolling back their mandates. New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, reversed the mandate for the private sector and noted that “the additional flexibility we are announcing for private employers, students, and parents puts the choice back into each of their hands.” California Governor Gavin Newsom, another Democrat, plans to end the state’s COVID emergency declaration at the beginning of next year.