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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How Much Biden’s Plan Will Cost Americans

Joe Biden says he is opposed to a single-payer healthcare system and instead favors a “public option,” which is a government-owned health insurance company.

In reality, there is no difference. 

A government entity would be subsidized. Private companies can’t compete with that. They would either go broke or be forced to fold their operations into the government company. Shareholders would be wiped out, and 180 million Americans would lose their current policies. 

Another downer—research and development for new drugs and medical devices to fight cancer, dementia and other ailments would suffer.

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Steve Forbes is Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media.

Steve’s newest project is the podcast “What’s Ahead,” where he engages the world’s top newsmakers,

Steve Forbes is Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media.

Steve’s newest project is the podcast “What’s Ahead,” where he engages the world’s top newsmakers, politicians and pioneers in business and economics in honest conversations meant to challenge traditional conventions as well as featuring Steve’s signature views on the intersection of society, economic and policy.

Steve helped create the recently released and highly acclaimed public television documentary, In Money We Trust?, which was produced under the auspices of Maryland Public television. The film was inspired by the book he co-authored, Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy – and What We Can Do About It.

Steve’s latest book is Reviving America: How Repealing Obamacare, Replacing the Tax Code and Reforming The Fed will Restore Hope and Prosperity co-authored by Elizabeth Ames (McGraw-Hill Professional).

Steve writes editorials for each issue of Forbes under the heading of “Fact and Comment.” A widely respected economic prognosticator, he is the only writer to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times. The prize was formerly given by U.S. Steel Corporation to the financial journalist whose economic forecasts for the coming year proved most accurate.

In both 1996 and 2000, Steve campaigned vigorously for the Republican nomination for the Presidency. Key to his platform were a flat tax, medical savings accounts, a new Social Security system for working Americans, parental choice of schools for their children, term limits and a strong national defense. Steve continues to energetically promote this agenda.

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Liz Weston: How losing Obamacare could cost you

If the Supreme Court throws out the Affordable Care Act, your finances and your future could pay the price.

THE RETURN OF PREEXISTING CONDITIONS

The Trump administration and a group of Republican attorneys general have asked that the entire law be thrown out. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Nov. 10.

Before the ACA, insurers routinely used preexisting health conditions as a reason to deny coverage or charge people more. Preexisting conditions included serious ailments such as cancer or heart disease as well as more common conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes and obesity, and temporary conditions including pregnancy. Insurers denied about 1 in 5 applications for individual policies because of preexisting conditions, and some employer-provided group policies required people to wait up to a year before their preexisting conditions were covered.

President Trump signed an executive order in September announcing “a steadfast commitment to always protecting individuals with preexisting conditions,” but the order alone can’t force insurers to offer coverage if the ACA is struck down.

And America is a land of preexisting conditions. Half of adults under age 65, or up to 133 million people, had health issues that could cause them to be denied coverage or charged exorbitant premiums, according to a 2017 government analysis.

‘USE IT AND LOSE IT’ COVERAGE

Health insurance is meant to help people pay their medical expenses and avoid potentially catastrophic bills. Before Obamacare, however, using your insurance could cause you to lose it.

If someone with an individual insurance policy got sick, the insurer could scour the person’s application looking for errors. Even minor mistakes could cause the company to revoke the policy, a practice called

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How losing Obamacare could cost you

If the Supreme Court throws out the Affordable Care Act, your finances and your future could pay the price.



FILE - This undated file photo provided by NerdWallet shows Liz Weston, a columnist for personal finance website NerdWallet.com. (NerdWallet via AP, File)


© Provided by Associated Press
FILE – This undated file photo provided by NerdWallet shows Liz Weston, a columnist for personal finance website NerdWallet.com. (NerdWallet via AP, File)

Retiring early or starting a business might become too hazardous if your access to health insurance isn’t guaranteed. You might have to wait a year before preexisting conditions are covered by an employer’s plan. Young adults could be kicked off their parents’ policies. Millions of people who buy insurance through the ACA marketplaces or who now qualify for Medicaid could lose their coverage as well.

Even if you were able to keep your health insurance, you could face caps on your coverage that expose you to enormous medical bills. Preventive care and birth control could cost you more. Medicare beneficiaries could face higher premiums, deductibles and copays. Insurers could cancel your policy retroactively for even minor mistakes on your application.

In the decade since the ACA became law, many Americans have become so accustomed to the protections and savings afforded by the landmark legislation that they may not realize how much could change if Obamacare is struck down. Its effects on health care are so pervasive that nearly every American could be affected, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which tracks health care issues.

THE RETURN OF PREEXISTING CONDITIONS

The Trump administration and a group of Republican attorneys general have asked that the entire law be thrown out. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Nov. 10.

Before the ACA, insurers routinely used preexisting health conditions as a reason to deny coverage or charge people more. Preexisting conditions included serious ailments such as cancer or heart disease as well as more common conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes and obesity, and temporary conditions including pregnancy. Insurers denied about 1 in 5 applications for individual policies because of preexisting conditions, and some employer-provided group policies required people to wait up to a year before their preexisting conditions were covered.

Back then, many people who had health issues — or whose family members did — avoided changing jobs, starting businesses or retiring early because of the risk they couldn’t find affordable health insurance.

President Trump signed an executive order in September announcing “a steadfast commitment to always protecting individuals with preexisting conditions,” but the order alone can’t force insurers to offer coverage if the ACA is struck down.

And America is a land of preexisting conditions. Half of adults under age 65, or up to 133 million people, had health issues that could cause them to be denied coverage or charged exorbitant premiums, according to a 2017 government analysis.

‘USE IT AND LOSE IT’ COVERAGE

Video: Bill Gates says he should be paying significantly higher tax (The Independent)

Bill Gates says he should be paying significantly higher tax

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Health insurance is meant to

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Coverage, risk factors, options, and cost

Preventive screenings, such as bone density tests, can help identify potential medical problems. Medicare covers some costs.

Bone density tests may help prevent expensive reparative treatments. Medicare generally covers such tests, although there may be other out-of-pockets costs.

This article looks at bone density scans and osteoporosis, including risk factors. It also discusses Medicare coverage of the tests, along with costs.

If a doctor thinks a person may have osteoporosis, they may ask for a bone density scan, which uses an X-ray to measure bone mineral density.

The test may be done in a hospital setting or by using a mobile device. In general, a person will get the hospital test for a hip or spine X-ray, while the mobile test is done on a person’s finger, wrist, or heel. However, the type of test may depend on the community’s access to equipment.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), if the test cannot be done on a person’s hip or spine, then it could be done on a person’s radius bone, which is in the forearm.

Osteoporosis is a medical condition that causes decreases in a person’s bone density, which can lead to fractures of the hip, spine, or wrist following a fall or other trauma.

After a doctor confirms a person has osteoporosis, recommended treatments may include medications and lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise and increasing intake of calcium and vitamin D.

Women are more likely than men to experience osteoporosis due to age-related hormonal changes. For example, after menopause, a woman’s estrogen levels drop. Estrogen is one of the hormones responsible for stimulating osteoblasts, which are cells that promote bone growth.

Other osteoporosis risk factors include:

  • lack of bone-building vitamin D and calcium in the diet
  • smoking cigarettes
  • drinking alcohol excessively
  • being sedentary
  • having a too-low body weight
  • having a medical history of a parent who broke their hip

If a person has several of these risk factors, a doctor may recommend a bone density scan.

A bone density test is also called a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The test is a non-invasive, painless X-ray scan of the hip and spine. A person does not need to do or wear anything special to get the test, and the entire scan typically takes 15 minutes or less.

Once a person has had a bone density test, a doctor trained in reading the scans will view the images and use calculations to assign a T-score, which compares a person’s current bone density to that of a healthy adult at age 30. Three T-score categories exist:

  • normal bone density: -1 or higher (such as 0 or +0.5)
  • low bone density: between -1 and -2.5
  • osteoporosis: -2.5 and lower

In addition to receiving a T-score, a person may also receive a Z-score. This is a score that compares a person’s bone density to someone of the person’s similar age and size. These scores are usually more effective in identifying bone density levels in children, teenagers, and younger men

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Harvard researcher estimates COVID-19 has cost US 2.5 million years of life

A Harvard researcher who looked at the life expectancy of 200,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus estimates COVID-19 has cost the United States 2.5 million years of life.

The researcher, molecular biologist and geneticist Stephen Elledge, is the Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, both located in Boston, USA Today reported.

Elledge arrived at his findings by estimating the remaining years of life those 200,000 COVID-19 victims likely had. He found that many of those who died were in middle age, and not elderly.

“It was really pretty shocking,” Elledge told USA Today, adding, “the younger half of that population are losing just as much life as the old people. And they really need to know it.”

The genetics professor said many of those killed by the disease could have lived decades more if not for the pandemic.

“Someone who dies in their 50s, for example, loses two to three decades of life expectancy,” said Elledge. He also said COVID-19 may have lasting effects on patients post-infection, and that its effects on young people later in their lives is unknown.

“You’re pushing your age forward,” he said. “All the people who make it through, who knows what’s going to happen to them when they get older.”

Elledge’s work typically encompasses DNA studies, though he wrote up his ideas about cumulative lost years due to COVID-19 deaths using simple calculations in an online report.

He said his findings were aligned with calculations he conducted earlier in the pandemic, adding that he is seeking to get them published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal soon.

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