Vaccine Monopolies Make Cost Of Vaccinating The World Against Covid At Least 5 Times More Expensive Than It Could Be
The cost of vaccinating the world against COVID-19 could be at least five times cheaper if pharmaceutical companies werent profiteering from their monopolies on COVID-19 vaccines, campaigners from The Peoples Vaccine Alliance said today.New analysis by the Alliance shows that the firms Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are charging governments as much as $41 billion above the estimated cost of production. Colombia, for example, has potentially overpaid by as much as $375 million for its doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, in comparison to the estimated cost price.Despite a rapid rise in COVID cases and deaths across the developing world, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have sold over 90 percent of their vaccines so far to rich countries, charging up to 24 times the potential cost of production. Last week Pfizer/BioNTech announced it would licence a South African company to fill and package 100 million doses for use in Africa, but this is a drop in the ocean of need. Neither company have agreed to fully transfer vaccine technology and know-how with any capable producers in developing countries, a move that could increase global supply, drive down prices and save millions of lives.
When And Where Will The Tests Take Place
For hourly workers subject to federal labor standards, theyre likely going to have to be on the clock when they get tested, Winans said.
Salaried workers may have to get tested on their own time, she said. But some may be able to do so at the office, where certain employers are expected to provide testing.
I think a lot of large employers are going to come up with a solution where theyre going to test on-site, Winans said.
But on-site testing is likely to be too expensive or unrealistic for many companies.
For the smaller employers,’ Schinderle said, “That is going to be more cost-prohibitive, and they may have to just partner with a third-party to get that done, set up a clinic possibly with a public health department or health care provider or lab testing facility, similar to how they partner for wellness programs with biometric screenings.”
The Us Surgeon General Is Calling Covid
Recent polling shows that partisanship is now this single strongest identifying predictor of whether someone is vaccinated. Polling also shows that mistrust in official sources of information and exposure to misinformation, about both COVID-19 and the vaccines, run high among Republicans.
“An unvaccinated person is three times as likely to lean Republican as they are to lean Democrat,” says Liz Hamel, vice president of public opinion and survey research at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy think tank that tracks attitudes toward vaccination. Political affiliation is now the strongest indicator of whether someone is vaccinated, she says: “If I wanted to guess if somebody was vaccinated or not and I could only know one thing about them, I would probably ask what their party affiliation is.”
It was not always this way. Earlier in the pandemic, many different groups expressed hesitancy toward getting vaccinated. African Americans, younger Americans and rural Americans all had significant portions of their demographic that resisted vaccination. But over time, the vaccination rates in those demographics have risen, while the rate of Republican vaccination against COVID-19 has flatlined at just 59%, according to the latest numbers from Kaiser.By comparison, 91% of Democrats are vaccinated.
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The Life Cycle Of A Covid
He thinks the elements of the Republican Party that are endorsing anti-vaccine ideas need to take a big step back. “I’m not trying to change Republican thinking or far-right thinking,” he says. “I’m trying to say: ‘The anti-science doesn’t belong it doesn’t fit. … Just stop it and save lives.’ ”
Before his illness, Phil Valentine had sometimes promoted unproven alternative therapies and taken a mocking tone toward vaccination. As his situation deteriorated, Mark says the talk show host realized he needed to encourage his listeners to get vaccinated. Phil told his brother, “‘My fear is that because I didn’t get it, other folks may not get it,” Mark Valentine recalls. The family put out a statement in support of vaccination, and Mark went on to his brother’s talk show to encourage listeners to take the shot.
He also headed to his local Walmart to get vaccinated. “The guy comes out he said, ‘Do you have any questions or concerns?’ ” Mark Valentine recalls. “I said, ‘Hell yeah, I’ve got both, but do it anyway.’ “
Vaccination rate data are the rate of vaccination among all people 18 years of age or older, as of Nov. 30. They are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2020 election result data are from MIT Election Data and Science Lab.
All averages are weighted by county population. The overall average represents the average of the 2,944 counties included in the analysis.
NPR’s Huo Jingnan contributed to this story.
Editor’s Note Dec. 6, 2021
What To Expect After Vaccination
Will I need a booster vaccination?
At this time, there is no change in the recommendations for all eligible Californians to receive a full series of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine . Booster doses are not currently recommended.
CDPH is closely following evolving information about the ability of COVID-19 vaccines to protect against variants. Californians will be able to readily access additional doses at a number of locations should they be recommended in the future.
But additional doses are recommended for people with compromised immune systems, specifically those who:
- Get active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Got an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Got a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency
- Have advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Get active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that suppress immune response
Talk to your doctor to see if getting an additional dose is right for you. If you meet these criteria, you can book your third dose at My Turn.
- Other adults having legal custody.
There are some exceptions:
Families should check with their vaccine provider on acceptable forms of consent. See CDPHâs Pfizer Vaccine Minor Consent Guidance for more details.
Why should I vaccinate my child?
My child has had reactions to other vaccines. Should they still get the vaccine?
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How Much Will A Covid
In the U.S., people will pay very little out-of-pocket for a vaccine.
With Pfizer and Moderna both releasing promising interim clinical data in the past two weeks, the world is getting one step closer to having a Covid-19 vaccine on the market, but how much will it cost? The bottom line is that in the United States, at least, people will pay very little out-of-pocketif anything at all. And given the significant amount of federal funding, many vaccine manufacturers are pricing well below what the market would bear.
The power of a vaccine depends on its price. No matter the clinical effectiveness, if too few people have access to the vaccine, the community cant reach herd immunity, rendering the innovation moot. The ultimate value of this vaccine will really be determined by coverage, says Dr. Bruce Y. Lee, professor of health policy and management at the City University of New York. If only a certain percentage of people get the vaccine, then we won’t really have enough coverage to make a dent in the spread of the virus.
What stands out with the Covid-19 vaccine is that even at really, really high prices, it’s still net positive value.
Bruce Y. Lee, professor at the City University of New York
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.
Limitations In Protections For Uninsured Covid
The Trump administration established a program through the federal Provider Relief Fund, to reimburse providers for care for uninsured COVID-19 patients, but narrow eligibility rules and voluntary participation by providers has limited the programs reach. For example, only patients with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 are eligible. Hospitalgroups have noted that this is particularly a problem for patients with sepsis caused by COVID-19. In those cases, coding protocols dictate that patients are coded with sepsis as their primary diagnosis and not COVID-19. Importantly, uninsured patients are not entitled to have their claims submitted to this program. Providers can decide on a case-by-case basis whether to submit claims otherwise providers are not limited in what they can charge or try to collect from uninsured patients for COVID-19 testing or treatment. Providers that submit COVID-19 testing or treatment claims to this program are reimbursed based on Medicare rates.
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Will Canadians Need Covid
Both Miller and Bogoch said its too soon to know whether Canadians will need COVID-19 vaccines every year.
It might be an annual thing — it might not be, no one really knows, Bogoch said. I think if anyone speaks with a high degree of confidence on this we should be suspicious because we dont really know.
Miller said this is something that still requires pretty intensive investigation.
On one hand, its a decision thats going to be impacted by how long we see immunity last, he explained. But thats also related to how much the virus is circulating how much the virus is evolving.
Miller said researchers are monitoring these things in real-time, every day to help inform those decisions.
Why Do Some Clinics Ask For A Health Insurance Card
Vaccination providers may ask for your health insurance card, if you have one, so they can bill your health insurance company, but you are not required to have insurance, according to the CDC. But don’t worry — you won’t have to pay.
Your insurance company may be charged to take off some of the financial burden from pharmacies and clinics. For example, United HealthCare says it sometimes has to pay an administrative fee to cover the post-vaccine standard observation of 15-30 minutes. Humana also says having your card, “in case the vaccine provider requests it,” ensures the provider can receive a reimbursement.
You as the vaccine recipient, however, will not have have to bear any of that cost, through any kind of administration fees, co-pays, or co-insurance. In fact, all vaccination providers have to agree to ensuring the vaccines remain 100% free for patients before they can become official providers.
Asking for this information might also help health insurance companies keep track of how insured customers are getting the vaccine, according to Macy, but it still may act as a barrier by creating suspicion.
“If this free, then why are you asking for this information?” Macy said.
To schedule your shot, call 211 or visit ourshot.in.gov. Many clinics also offer walk-in appointments.
Contact Rashika Jaipuriar at and follow her on Twitter
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What We Know About Distribution And Administration Costs
In addition to funding the research, development, and production of the vaccines, the federal government will also team up with McKesson to distribute the vaccines.
The one known exception here is Pfizer, which will handle the distribution of their vaccine, according to Soumi Saha, the senior director of advocacy at the healthcare improvement firm Premier, Inc.
The government has also created ancillary kits that contain needles, syringes, and personal protective equipment .
There are several other costs pertaining to the vaccine that remain unclear.
There are also storage costs, as some of the vaccines need to be kept in ultra-cold temperatures that many hospitals and retail pharmacies dont have on-site.
The costs that are unclear with the vaccine right now are, for example, hospitals, healthcare providers, pharmacies that are purchasing ultra-low freezers for the Pfizer vaccine, or the cost associated with the dry ice that theyre going to be using to replenish those Pfizer suitcases, said Saha. How are those costs reimbursed or accounted for?
Funding is also needed to pay and train healthcare workers who will administer the vaccines, Lin noted.
Experts also expect the cost of the vaccine to increase after the pandemic.
The initial doses will be government purchased and government provided, said Saha. What remains unclear is how the vaccine will be priced for general consumption once the initial government-purchased doses run out.
How Much Will The Vaccines Cost
Individuals aged 45 years and above remain in the priority groups of vulnerable citizens under the Centres public health immunisation programme. Therefore, they will continue to be eligible for free vaccinations at government centres. At private hospitals, however, they may have to pay a higher price than the current, reduced rate of Rs 250 per dose, as these facilities will soon begin exclusive procurement directly from the manufacturers themselves.
As for those aged between 18 and 44, the vaccines will not be available free of charge. While the exact prices are yet to be decided, a report from The Times of India indicates most vaccines may cost Rs 700-1,000 per dose.
In the case of the Covishield vaccine, the Serum Institute of India will charge state governments Rs 400 per dose and private hospitals Rs 600 per dose for the vaccine. These doses will then be made available to the public at slightly higher costs, as private players will mark up the prices to include the cost of administering the vaccine and a certain amount of profit.
The prices for Covaxin and Russias Sputnik V are yet to be revealed, but are likely to fall under similar cost brackets, as the manufacturing and storage costs remain roughly similar.
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Pfizer: $20 Per Dose Free For Early Recipients
Pfizer will likely be the first COVID-19 to reach the market. The company submitted the FDA application for emergency use authorization on Friday.
Earlier this month, Pfizer CEO assured consumers that the vaccine will be free for all U.S. citizens. He was likely referring to the first 100 million doses pre-ordered by the U.S. government under Operation Warp Speed. Pfizer has promised to deliver that batch before the end of the year, with the possibility of expanding the government contract for an additional 500 million doses in 2021.
After that, its unclear how much Pfizer will ask for the vaccine. The wholesale price negotiated in the government contract is $20 per dose.
Pfizers vaccine requires two doses, given three weeks apart. The company estimates that about 15 million to 20 million people will be vaccinated in the first six months once delivery begins.
The Most Widely Believed False Statement Was That ‘the Government Is Exaggerating’ The Number Of Covid
Perhaps the most pernicious pieces of misinformation have to do with the perceived severity of COVID-19 itself. The most widely believed false statement was: “The government is exaggerating the number of COVID-19 deaths.”
Hamel says that underestimating the severity of COVID-19 appears to be a major reason why Republicans in particular have fallen behind in vaccination: “We’ve seen lower levels of personal worry among Republicans who remain unvaccinated,” she says. “That’s a real contrast with what we saw in communities of color, where there was a high level of worry about getting sick.”
How Much Is The Coronavirus Vaccine
If youre still wondering if the COVID-19 vaccine is free, the answer for right now is yes. Anyone living in the U.S. should be able to receive their coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available to them without having to pay any out-of-pocket expenses.
Of course, this does not mean the vaccine is without cost. It just means Americans wont have to pay for their own coronavirus vaccines. So who is paying for the COVID-19 vaccines? The main answer is the U.S. government. Before the vaccine was even available for distribution, the federal government spent more than $10 billion to aid in speedy COVID-19 vaccine development through Operation Warp Speed.
The federal government also paid for the vaccine doses. When it comes to the costs associated with administering the vaccine, government funding is covering those fees, as well, for anyone:
- With a public health insurance plan
- Without insurance coverage
- With an insurance plan that is not ACA-compliant and does not cover the vaccine
ACA-compliant private health insurance plans will cover these administration costs for their policyholders.
While the government currently covers the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine, this may not remain the case once the virus is no longer considered a public health emergency. Since the pandemic is constantly evolving, its difficult to predict precisely how long people living in the U.S. will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine free of cost.
Pfizer Eyes Higher Prices For Covid
Amid the high-stakes fight against COVID-19, a company at the forefront of the vaccine effort is laying plans to hike prices after the crisis. A top Pfizer exec said the drugmaker aims to charge more after the “pandemic pricing environment,” and an influential analyst says the company could be eying prices 3 to 4 times higher.
On an earnings call earlier this month, Chief Financial Officer Frank DAmelio said that obviously, the company is going to get more on price after the pandemic pricing environment.” He was speaking in response to Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Jason Zemansky, who asked the management team about how profit margins for the program could change over time.
In short, DAmelio explained that Pfizer expects its COVID vaccine margins to improve. Under one pandemic supply deal, Pfizer is charging the U.S. $19.50 per dose, D’Amelio said, which is not a normal price like we typically get for a vaccine$150, $175 per dose. So, pandemic pricing.
As a specific for-instance, a dose of Pfizer’s pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar 13 costs more than $200 on the private market in the U.S., according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
Pfizer has said it expects $15 billion from its COVID-19 vaccine this year, but if the company charges higher prices after the pandemic, it could continue to reap significant sales from the product in the years to come, particularly if routine boosters are needed as variants arise.
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