The COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna has been free to Americans since the vaccines were first made available. The shots are currently paid for by the federal government and are available free of charge, regardless of a person’s health insurance status.
VERIFY previously reported that in 2023 Pfizer was planning to quadruple the price of its COVID-19 vaccine. Now, some are saying Moderna is also planning to increase the rates.
A petition has circulated online claiming both Pfizer and Moderna are raising their prices. The petition calls for an end to “COVID-19 vaccine price gouging.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted about the Moderna price hike and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) posted a TikTok video about it.
Are Pfizer and Moderna increasing the cost of their COVID-19 vaccines?
- Kaiser Family Foundation
- Pfizer spokesperson
- Moderna spokesperson
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Yes, Pfizer and Moderna are increasing the cost of their COVID-19 vaccines.
WHAT WE FOUND
Right now, every COVID-19 vaccine that’s available or has already been administered was paid for by the federal government.
Congress hasn’t approved the additional funding that the federal government needs to continue paying for COVID-19 vaccines. Once the government’s supply runs out, the “manufacturing, procurement and pricing” of the vaccines will transition to the private sector, where many pharmaceutical products are bought and sold, according to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).
A Pfizer spokesperson says a single-dose vial for patients age 12 and older will be listed at $110 to $130. A spokesperson for Moderna didn’t name its price, but calls the Pfizer figure “consistent with the value.”
This is an increase of about 333% for the vaccines once the shots transition to the commercial market, or the private sector. The shots will likely still be covered by insurance, but people who are uninsured may have to pay out-of-pocket expenses.
Pfizer has an assistance program they say can provide free vaccines to people who are uninsured.
This is how many common vaccines, such as the annual flu shot, are distributed. Most insurance companies cover the vaccine at no cost, while people without insurance have to pay out-of-pocket or rely on low-cost or free vaccine clinics.
The cost of other vaccines in the private sector ranges anywhere from about $20 to upwards of $200 per dose depending on the shot, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show.
VERIFY reached out to Pfizer and Moderna to confirm the effective date for the price increase but did not hear back at the time of publication.
VERIFY partner station WUSA contributed to this report.