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Friday, February 3, 2023

Pfizer Predicts Price Hike in U.S. COVID-19 Vaccine to $110-$130 per Dose

As of yet, the U.S. rollout of updated COVID-19 booster doses has lagged last year’s rate

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UNITED STATES. New York: Pfizer executive Angela Lukin reported that the multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology hub is expected to quadruple the price of its COVID-19 vaccine to about $110-$130 per dose after the U.S. government’s current purchase program expires.

The dose is currently provided for free to all by the government. Lukin said she expects the vaccine dose will be made available at no cost to people with private or government-paid insurance.

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“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 patient access,” Lukin said.

The United States has a notorious reputation for its lack of universal healthcare for all its citizens despite its first-world, economic status in the global market.

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Lukin’s expectations do not reflect those Americans who cannot afford expensive health insurance, be it private or government-aided.

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal was expecting price hikes due to weak demand for COVID vaccines since the pandemic has to a certain extent, slowed down in many areas across the U.S.

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This ultimately means that, in order to at least break even and avoid financial losses, vaccine producers would need to hike prices and meet revenue forecasts for 2023 and beyond it.

The slowing pace of the early COVID revaccination campaigns- particularly in the U.S. market- is changing that view.

A recent poll revealed that nearly two-thirds of American adults do not plan on getting a vaccine anytime soon.

“The fact that you have people saying the pandemic is over doesn’t motivate people to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Bruce Farber, chief of public health and epidemiology for New York hospital system Northwell Health.

Moreover, renewed emergence of infections despite receiving consistent vaccinations has baffled several people and prompted them to question the efficacy of the shot, says Dr. Farber.

Pfizer said it expects the COVID-19 market to expand to the enormity of the flu shot market annually for adults now that the pandemic has become an integral part of our daily existence. However, the paediatric market would take longer to build based on shots given so far.

As of yet, the U.S. rollout of updated COVID-19 booster doses, which target both the original virus strain and the new Omicron strain, has lagged last year’s rate, despite more people being eligible for the shots.

Around 14.8 million people received a booster shot over the first six weeks of the new rollout. In the first six weeks of the 2021 revaccination campaign, people were enthusiastic to get their shots as over 22 million people received their third boosters. By that point, only aged and immunocompromised people were eligible.

Lukin said it is incredibly unlikely that the purchasing of the vaccines will eventually transfer to the private sector, not until the first quarter of 2023 “at the earliest.” The move is dependent on whether the government supply will be depleted.

Also Read: Pfizer Submits Trial Data To Clear Its COVID-19 Vaccine Among Children Aged 5 To 11

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