Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Will Cost As Much As A Flu Shot, says CEO Stephane Bancel

KEY POINTS

  • The vaccine candidate will cost between $25 and $37, depending on orders: Moderna CEO
  • The vaccine needs to be administered in two doses
  • Trials of Moderna’s vaccine candidate showed 95% efficiency rates

Massachusetts-based biotechnology firm Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, will cost governments between $25 and $37 per dose, depending on their orders, CEO Stephane Bancel told a German weekly paper.

“Our vaccine…costs about the same as a flu shot, which is between $10 and $50,” Bancel told Welt am Sonntag (WamS), according to Reuters.

Moderna is in discussion with the European Commission to finalize a deal on the supply of millions of doses of its vaccine at a price less than $25 per dose. “Nothing is signed yet but we are close to a deal with the EU Commission. We want to deliver to Europe and are in constructive talks,” Bancel told the paper. He said it would be a matter of days before an agreement is reached.

This would come up to at least $50 per patient, as the vaccine needs to be administered in two doses. Moderna received nearly $1 billion in funds from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for the vaccine, as per Forbes.

The cost of this vaccine will be similar to the price of the annual flu vaccine in the U.S., which costs about $40 for people without insurance. It is interesting to note that flu shots have an efficacy rate of 40%-60%, whereas Moderna is claiming that its vaccine candidate showed an almost 95% efficacy rate in trials. The final Phase 3 trials will confirm these results.

When Moderna announced these results, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told NBC News, “These are obviously very exciting results. It’s just as good as it gets… 94.5% is truly outstanding.”

Vaccinations could begin in the second half of December, Fauci said. The vaccine will first be made available to high-risk groups, and for the rest of the population, it will be available next spring.

The government also wants to ensure that everyone can afford a COVID-19 vaccine. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are discussing a rule that as soon as a vaccine is available for the virus and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it will be made available to seniors and low-income people in public health insurance programs for no cost.

Moderna is the second company to develop a vaccine, following Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, which proved to be 90% effective in its initial trials.

US biotech firm Moderna says its experimental vaccine is almost 95 percent effective in protecting people from the novel coronavirus US biotech firm Moderna says its experimental vaccine is almost 95 percent effective in protecting people from the novel coronavirus Photo: AFP / Joseph Prezioso

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