Pfizer Inc. PFE, +3.29% said Thursday that it plans to sell the COVID-19 shot it developed with BioNTech SE BNTX, +4.70% for $110 to $130 per dose once the U.S. market for COVID-19 shots becomes commercial, likely in the first quarter of next year.
Pfizer and BioNTech are currently paid $30.50 per vaccine dose by the U.S. government, which contracted with the companies (as well as other vaccine makers like Moderna Inc. MRNA, +4.55% and Novavax Inc. NVAX, +6.37% ) and then made the COVID-19 shots available at no cost to people in the U.S. during the public-health emergency.
The emergency declaration in the U.S. isn’t expected to be renewed next year, which will lead to the formation of an official commercial market for COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments. That said, this change doesn’t mean most Americans will be on the hook to pay for their shots in 2023 and beyond.
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis said most people with private insurance won’t be expected to pay anything out of pocket for the vaccines, though the costs may eventually be baked into the price of health-insurance premiums, as is done with flu shots. People with Medicare will have their shots covered by Medicare Part B, while those with Medicaid should also have coverage of COVID-19 vaccines. It’s the uninsured who may find it difficult to find free vaccines and boosters in the future.
Wall Street analysts cheered the news, saying Pfizer’s pricing plan came in above expectations. It also bodes well for Moderna’s stock. SVB Securities upgraded the company to market perform from underperform, though the company has not yet announced its pricing plans for its COVID-19 shots.
“Presuming that MRNA prices as a rational duopolist, this substantially improves the company’s ability to meet 2023 revenue guidance,” SVB analyst Mani Foroohar told investors.