Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the incoming chair of the Senate Committee on Health, chastised Moderna on Tuesday for predicting a more-than-quadruple increase in the price of its COVID-19 vaccine.
“How many of these Americans will perish from COVID-19 due to a lack of access to these lifesaving vaccines?” Sanders addressed his letter to Moderna’s CEO, Stéphane Bancel. “Restricting access to this much-needed vaccine in the midst of a deadly pandemic is unconscionable.”
“I am writing to urge you to reconsider your decision and avoid any price increases,” he said.
Sanders’ letter was in response to Moderna’s CEO’s recent comments that the company was considering raising the price of its COVID-19 shots to $110-130 per dose once vaccines entered the private market. This is an increase from the current price of $26 per dose under the current government contract.
Pfizer has also stated that it intends to raise its prices to between $110 and $130 per dose.
Moderna stated that “the vast majority of people in the United States will continue to have free access to COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.”
“While we are still discussing the price of our COVID-19 vaccines with stakeholders, Moderna is committed to pricing that reflects the value that COVID-19 vaccines bring to patients, healthcare systems, and society,” a company spokesperson said.