Coronavirus vaccine progress is a vital component of ending the pandemic this year, as deaths and cases continue to pile up. People have spent the last four months under strict measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19, which have left them longing for a return to pre-pandemic life. But a definitive solution to the situation could prove costly once finalised.
How much would a COVID-19 vaccine cost?
A coronavirus vaccine in the UK would likely fall under the umbrella of the NHS, which provides free vaccination for deadly diseases.
But the Government is yet to confirm whether this is the case, as not all vaccine delivery in the UK is free.
A different picture is developing in the US, as pharmaceutical company Moderna has released its prospective pricing.
The company recently entered late phase testing for its jab, in which it delivered doses to 30,000 people.
Officials have signalled hope to have it completed by early 2021, and it shouldn’t cost too much for Americans when it arrives.
According to the Financial Times, the Boston-based company wants to sell its vaccine for $50 to $60 (£38 to £48).
Per dose, the price point works out to roughly $25 to $30 each (£19.29 to £23.15).
The Moderna pricing has caused “considerable concern and difficulties in negotiations” according to insiders, as other companies have promised far more competitive plans.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, also now in its third phase, will go to Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands for roughly £2 to £3 per dose.
The US Government secured a pre-order deal with Pfizer and BioNTech for $19.50 (£15.05) per dose.
Moderna’s relative expense is allegedly due to the size of orders requested and the timing of delivery.
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Most of the companies which have now revealed prospective pricing and put in a deal with various national governments have reported success with their respective vaccines.
Oxford University reported a “robust” immune response in its jab from its phase three testing, as did BioNTech and Pfizer.
Results from Moderna found its candidate built antibodies in all participants ahead of phase three trials.
But the disease may affect future price plans for prospective COVID-19 vaccines, as antibodies may prove impermanent.
Scientists believe immunity to coronavirus drops off months after contracting the disease.
A research team working at King’s College London found antibody levels in 90 former patients dramatically decreased to undetectable levels three months following infection.
Dr Katie Doores, lead author on the study, said: “People are producing a reasonable antibody response to the virus, but it’s waning over a short period of time and depending on how high your peak is, that determines how long the antibodies are staying around.”
While scientists have likely planned for this eventuality, repeated doses of COVID-19 may cause prices to shift.
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