New European Union contract filings have revealed that COVID-19 vaccine suppliers Moderna and Pfizer are hiking up the price of doses. The recent surge in Delta variant cases is partly to blame for Pfizer’s 25% increase in cost and Moderna’s estimated 10% price jump. Phase III trial data determined that the efficacy rates of these companies’ mRNA vaccines surpassed the versions produced by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, which may also account for these higher valuations.
The agreement will provide 2.1 billion doses through 2023. The EU is set to compensate Pfizer at $23.16 per shot, and Moderna will earn $25.50. Pfizer has accordingly adjusted its annual forecast for COVID-19 vaccine sales to $33.5 billion from the previous $26 billion.
It remains to be seen whether future arbitration with the U.S. government will result in similar price hikes. As it stands, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are still offered for free for all citizens of the EU and the U.S. Pfizer has signaled that it is already implementing dosage discounts for impoverished countries.
Although the jury is still out on how effective the mRNA vaccines from these companies are at reducing transmission of Delta variant, research has shown that they are 96% effective in stopping Delta variant deaths and averting COVID-19 hospitalizations.