Moderna, which developed a COVID vaccine after getting a $10 billion handout from U.S. taxpayers, sold $18 billion worth of vaccines in 2021.
Last March, Pfizer said it expects to haul in $32 billion in COVID vaccine sales for 2022, while Moderna forecasted at least $19 billion in sales.
But as always, nothing is ever enough. So Moderna wants to increase its price up to 400%, from an updated booster shot price of about $26 per dose to between $110 and $130 per dose, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel defended the sky-high hike, saying, “I would think this type of pricing is consistent with the value.”
After U.S. taxpayers subsidized the creation of the mRNA-based COVID vaccine, Moderna provided them to the government at $15-$16 per dose in 2021. That rose to $26 per dose in 2022. And now they want — $130?!
Moderna says it’s just setting a fair market price, noting that Pfizer is also looking to get upwards of $130 per vaccine dose.
When Pfizer announced its new price late last year, U.S. lawmakers ripped the move. In a letter sent last month to Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and then-Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) called the hike “pure and deadly greed” and accused the company of “unseemly profiteering.”
“We urge you to back off from your proposed price increases and ensure COVID-19 vaccines are reasonably priced and accessible to people across the United States,” the lawmakers wrote.
“Thanks to billions of federal dollars used to support production and delivery of Pfizer’s vaccine product, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is currently free for patients in the United States,” the lawmakers said in their letter.
More than 400 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and boosters have been administered in the U.S., according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The federal government continues to urge Americans to get booster after booster.
But now it turns out that the new boosters might not do much of anything.
Some vaccine advisers to the federal government on Wednesday said they are “disappointed” and “angry” that government scientists and the pharmaceutical company Moderna failed to provide certain infection data on the effectiveness of its latest COVID booster during meetings last year.
Even without the data, the advisers approved the new booster. But now, the data shows the updated booster might not be any more effective than the original shots, which targeted a completely different strain of the virus.
“I was angry to find out that there was data that was relevant to our decision that we didn’t get to see,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, a group of external advisers that helps the FDA make vaccine decisions, according to CNN.
“Decisions that are made for the public have to be made based on all available information – not just some information, but all information,” he said.
Earlier this month, India reported the first incidence of the Omicron subtype XBB-1.5. That has now moved around the world.
The CDC estimates that XBB.1.5 infections have more than doubled each week for the last four, rising from about 4% to 41% of new infections over the month of December. In the Northeast, the CDC estimates that the new strain was responsible for 75% of new cases.
And earlier this month, the CDC announced America had become the first country to officially reach the milestone of 100 million COVID cases.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.