(LifeSiteNews) — Major COVID-19 mRNA drug manufacturer Pfizer will increase the cost of its injections by as much as 400% as it scrambles to meet revenue projections amid a major shortfall in jab demand, Reuters reported Friday.
According to the report, Pfizer said late last week that it will increase the cost of its drug to between $110 and $130 per dose next year.
Wells Fargo analyst Mohit Bansal told the outlet Pfizer’s plans to quadruple its cost-per-shot could boost the Big Tech corporation’s annual revenue by $2.5 billion to $3 billion. The plan is also anticipated to lead competitors to increase their prices as well, with Moderna and Novavax shares rising in response to the news of Pfizer’s markup.
Pfizer COVID vaccine price hike to boost revenue for years, rivals may follow https://t.co/JSl3X2Hcla pic.twitter.com/xlHM7cdcVS
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 21, 2022
The inflated costs are expected to help the drug manufacturers weather the fallout from unexpectedly low interest in additional booster doses, allowing them to “meet revenue forecasts for 2023 and beyond,” Reuters reported.
The outlet cited a Kaiser Family Foundation poll that found a solid majority of American adults — roughly two-thirds — don’t plan to top up their COVID inoculations in the near future.
Putting the low demand for COVID boosters in perspective, the future market for annual flu shots is expected to dwarf interest in repeated COVID jabs, despite the fact that less than half the population historically gets a flu shot every year. Analysts cited by Reuters said they anticipate “the U.S. market to be as low as one-third the size of the flu.”
Dr. Bruce Farber, chief of public health and epidemiology for New York hospital system Northwell Health, mentioned several reasons why Americans lack interest in continuing to roll up their sleeves for more booster shots.
According to Farber, Americans have been dissuaded from getting boosted by public statements that “the pandemic is over” (President Joe Biden declared the pandemic to be over during a 60 Minutes interview last month, but the comment was later walked back by the White House), as well as continuous instances of repeat infections in people who are “up to date” with their jabs.
Healthcare investor Bijan Salehizadeh with Navimed Capital told Reuters that unless Americans see that updated COVID shots are better able to halt the infection and spread of the virus, “[t]he average person is not going to jump to get it.”
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Earlier this month, a Pfizer executive made headlines for telling a committee of the European Parliament that the pharmaceutical company hadn’t tested their shots to determine whether they would stop transmission of the virus before rolling them out, generating renewed skepticism about government jab mandates ostensibly designed to protect against community spread.
As of early October only an estimated 4% of eligible Americans were reported to have gotten the most recent bivalent booster shot, despite efforts to gin up anxiety about an allegedly upcoming “winter surge.”
News of Pfizer’s planned price hike to scrape up revenue amid cratering demand comes as other vaccine manufacturers in recent months have been forced to toss out their excess supply after low vaccine uptake.
Last week, Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine producer, had to throw out 100 million doses of its version of AstraZeneca’s mRNA COVID shot after the drugs passed their expiration date.
SII CEO Adar Poonwalla told reporters his company had stopped making COVID-19 shots in December due to a major shortfall in public interest.
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Though India has administered two billion total doses of the shots, according to Poonwalla, there is no demand for the company’s booster shots “as people now seem fed up with Covid.”
“Honestly, I’m also fed up,” he said. “We all are.”
In May, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel told the World Economic Forum (WEF) that his company, a major producer of mRNA COVID-19 shots, would need to toss out 30 million doses of the jabs due to low demand.
“We have a big demand problem,” Bancel said, explaining that in both the U.S. and overseas “nobody wants to take” the shots.
The lack of interest in repeat booster shots comes as the notion that the jabs prevent infection and transmission of the virus has shattered amid the drugs’ sliding efficacy, failure to stop transmission, and skyrocketing reports of adverse events linked to the jabs.