It’s weird to think about how covid changed so much and there’s this new, not quite back to normal situation, and we’re all just living with it. President Biden said it’s over, but people are still getting it and people still need shots for it. Around the end of this year, Pfizer’s government contract will end and they will begin charging $110-130 per dose. However, insurance will still allow most people to get vaccinated for free or cheaply. And Pfizer has an income-based assistance program for uninsured folks as well.
Pfizer is raising the “commercial list price” for its coronavirus vaccines.
The pharmaceutical company said Friday that the drug will cost between $110 to $130 per dose once its government contract ends, according to the Associated Press, though many will continue to receive the shot for free.
New prices could go into effect as soon as early 2023, depending on when the government phases out its own distribution program, the outlet said.
Angela Lukin, Pfizer’s global primary care & U.S. president, explained that increased prices are due to the costs of switching from multi-dose to single-dose vials and commercial distribution. Lukin added that the new prices are still below the level of “what would be considered a highly effective vaccine,” per the AP.
Since the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover the costs of most recommended vaccines without charging out-of-pocket, many will pay little to nothing. People with coverage through private insurance or public programs like Medicare and Medicaid will also likely pay nothing.
Pfizer also has an income-based assistance program to help uninsured people in the U.S. receive a vaccination.
The new estimated list price for Pfizer’s COVID vaccine is comparable to that of other adult vaccines, such as hepatitis and shingles, which can range from around $64 to $171, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Coronavirus vaccines and boosters are expected to remain free until the government ends its public health emergency declaration over the COVID-19 pandemic or depletes its federally acquired supply, according to a report published Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).
It seems like covid is moving the way of the seasonal flu. The CDC is adding the covid vaccine to its recommended immunization schedule for 2023, saying “all adults and children 6 months and older should get the COVID vaccine and booster doses when eligible.” Of course people will continue to decline the vaccine, just as people decline flu shots and others. But hopefully its addition to the schedule alongside many other familiar shots will convince some of the holdouts who felt that the vaccine was developed too quickly, etc. I have plans to get my flu shot and booster at the same time next week. Luckily, I’ve somehow managed to — knock on wood — escape covid and I’d like to continue to do so for as long as possible. As least I know if I do get it, the vaccine and boosters will mitigate the worst of it.
Photos credit: CDC via Unsplash and Getty