Moderna is considering increasing the cost of its Covid-19 vaccine by 400%
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You might just have to take out a loan to get your next jab, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal.
After the US government’s contract expires, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel told the outlet the company is thinking about updating the price of its USD $26 (AUD 37.3) vaccine to cost around USD$110 (AUD 157.9) to $130 (AUD $186.6).
To date, the federal government has covered all Covid-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.
But the public will soon lose that and prices are expected to skyrocket.
“I would think this type of pricing is consistent with the value,” Bancel said, as per the outlet.
It would be similar to the price hike Pfizer said it was considering in October, which would take place later this year.
Senator Bernie Sanders has since slammed Moderna’s ‘outrageous’ new price point.
Earlier this week, the Vermont Senator called on the Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer to reverse its reported plan, as he said deaths would likely surge due to the price increase.
In a letter to Moderna, he wrote: "The huge increase in price that you have proposed will have a significantly negative impact on the budgets of Medicaid, Medicare, and other government programs that will continue covering the vaccine without cost-sharing for patients.
I sent a letter today to the CEO of Moderna with a simple message: In the midst of a public health crisis, quadrupling the price of a publicly-funded COVID-19 vaccine is unacceptable corporate greed. pic.twitter.com/gi2gVbPSwZ— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 10, 2023
"Your outrageous price boost will also increase private health insurance premiums.
"Perhaps most significantly, the quadrupling of prices will make the vaccine unavailable for many millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans who will not be able to afford it."
He added that the company raising prices amid a deadly pandemic was ‘unconscionable’.
UNILAD has approached Moderna for comment.
It comes just as the new emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 variant, XBB.1.5 or ‘Kraken’, is expected to cause a rise in infections, especially during the nation's colder months.
PhD student of the University of Washington, who is working in computational virologist Trevor Bedford’s lab, Marlin Figgins, told Scientific American he predicts it will be the ‘most prevalent’ strain across the US.
He added: “It’s likely there will be an increase in cases in the short term, though this will depend on the extent of XBB.1.5’s advantage and the various factors affecting SARS-CoV-2 transmission in general.”