Moderna says it WON’T jack up price of its taxpayer-funded Covid shot for uninsured — in screeching U-turn following DailyMail.com reporting
- The uninsured and underinsured will be able to get Moderna’s shot for free
- The Government will stop offering Covid vaccines at no cost from May 11
- Moderna will still raise the price commercially, meaning pushed up premiums
Moderna will offer its Covid shots to the uninsured free of charge, the company has announced.
It comes amid mounting pressure on the biotech giant to not jack up the price of its taxpayer-funded Covid shot — a decision first revealed by DailyMail.com.
The company was planning to hike up the price of its vaccine five-fold to match its rival Pfizer’s, meaning those without insurance would have had to fork out around $130 to get jabbed.
But it sparked a furore among politicians, including Senator Bernie Sanders, who accused the company of ‘unacceptable greed’. Moderna enjoyed billions in Government grants to develop the shot.
Americans who are uninsured or underinsured will still be able to get Moderna’s Covid shot free of charge from May 11
Bernie Sanders is due to cross-examine Moderna’s CEO on his plans to raise the price of its Covid shot next month
The Government will stop offering Covid vaccines free of charge from May 11 when the public emergency comes to an end.
It currently pays Moderna around $26 per dose of the vaccine, which is estimated to cost the biotech company just $1.18 to make.
Despite the climbdown, Moderna still plans to raise the shot’s commercial price when it enters the open market, meaning premiums will still be pushed up all around for those with insurance.
In a statement released yesterday, the company said it would make sure those without insurance or without enough insurance could still get its Covid shot free of charge.
It said: ‘For uninsured or underinsured people, Moderna’s patient assistance program will provide Covid vaccines at no cost.
‘Everyone in the United States will have access to Moderna’s Covid vaccine regardless of their ability to pay.’
For those with health insurance, insurance premiums will cover the price hike.
This means Americans will not actually pay out-of-pocket, but the company’s price hike of the vaccine will still push up premiums all around.
Covid vaccines have been free to Americans regardless of insurance status during the pandemic.
This is thanks to Operation Warp Speed, which was adopted in the early weeks of the pandemic to accelerate the development of Covid vaccines and treatments.
The Trump administration shelled out more than $12 billion to biotech companies including Moderna, Janssen, and Novavax to compress the timeline for a viable vaccine.
Moderna, a Massachusetts-based biotech startup, inked several contracts with the federal government totaling more than $2.4 billion in the first year of the pandemic.
In July 2022, the US government awarded a $1.74 billion agreement to secure more than 65 million additional doses of Moderna’s Covid vaccine, bringing the total number of shots procured to more than 560 million.
When those run out, the negotiation of the cost of vaccines will soon be down to insurance companies and private purchasers.
Sen. Sanders is due to grill Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel over his decision to raise the price of the Covid vaccine in a Senate hearing next month.
Sen. Sanders previously accused the biotech company of ‘unacceptable corporate greed’ in a letter to Mr Bancel.
He argued that raising the price of the shot was particularly offensive given that the US government provided more than $2billion in taxpayer money to fund the development of the vaccine.
Moderna turned an estimated $39 billion in profit last year, with Covid vaccine sales of around $18.4 billion.