Coronavirus Update: Moderna’s COVID vaccine will remain free for all Americans in coup for Bernie Sanders

by | Feb 16, 2023 | Stock Market

Moderna Inc. will keep its COVID-19 vaccines available and free of charge for all people in the U.S. after the public-health emergency ends, the company said late Wednesday. The announcement is something of a coup for Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and had called on Moderna
Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel to testify before Congress on a proposed price increase for the vaccine.

In January, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was considering pricing the vaccine at $110 to $130 per dose, the same price as mooted by Pfizer Inc.
and German partner BioNTech
for their vaccine once it moves to a commercial market. The vaccines were being purchased and distributed free of charge by the federal government under emergency declarations that President Joe Biden is planning to end on May 11. Sanders was planning to grill Bancel to highlight what he called the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. The COVID vaccine was developed in cooperation with the National Institutes of Health using taxpayer money. The proposed price increase was “outrageous” and “unconscionable,” Sanders wrote in a letter to Moderna in January. The mRNA-based vaccine was Moderna’s first-ever approved product, and its success has made Bancel and other founding investors billionaires, Sanders said. For uninsured or underinsured people, Moderna said it would provide the va …

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