Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna, both large manufacturers of coronavirus vaccines, have raised the price of their shots as part of a new contract with the European Union.
Pfizer increased the price of its vaccine by more than a quarter, from €15.5 to €19.5, whilst Moderna's price increased by more than a tenth, from €19 to €21.5, according to the Financial Times.
The price change was part of the latest EU contracts to guarantee more supply, as the spread of more infectious variants and calls for a possible booster shot increased the demand.
As it has done in the past when questions were raised about a price increase for the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines, the European Commission refused to comment on the price of the vaccines in the contracts, citing confidentiality.
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The EU's joint vaccine procurement programme provided 330 million doses of BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, 100 million of AstraZeneca, 50 million of Moderna and 20 million of Johnson & Johnson, whilst in May, the EU signed a new contract to buy up to 1.8 billion doses of vaccine from BioNTech-Pfizer for delivery until 2023.
Pfizer forecasted it would sell around €21.91 billion worth of coronavirus vaccines by the end of July, however, this has increased to €28.23 billion worth of vaccines. Meanwhile, Moderna, in May, was expecting annual sales of around €16.43 billion.
According to an official who spoke with the Financial Times, the companies had capitalised on their market power and had relied on the usual rhetoric in the pharmaceutical industry, that the vaccines working increased their "value".
In the EU, just under 50% of the total population has been fully vaccinated, whilst more than 70% of the adult population has received at least a first shot.