Meanwhile, Pfizer and Moderna say work on Covid vaccines is not over, even though the public health emergency has ended.
A recent review of the data that has followed the official end to the global health emergency of the Covid pandemic shows that more than $2 billion has been wasted on unused Covid vaccines.
More than 300 million doses of four brands of vaccine – Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and Novavax – have been discarded or donated to other countries.
There are multiple reasons for the wastage, including vaccine hesitancy and overspending by the US Government.
Yet despite the figures and dwindling demand, the World Health Organization has called for new Covid shots to be developed for this winter that target mutated variants.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 596 million Pfizer Covid vaccines have been delivered to states up to May 11. That includes both the original Pfizer vaccine and the updated Omicron booster.
But only 404 million have actually been administered, leaving 192 million unaccounted for.
And 355 million Moderna vaccines were delivered, including the updated booster, but only 253 million were put into arms, leaving 102 million unused.
With federal purchases of Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines costing an average of $20.69 per dose, according to analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, this equates to $2 billion.
The falling demand for vaccines across Western nations, the US, and Europe are becoming a major concern for vaccine makers sitting over a large inventory of unused Covid vaccines.
“We had to invest billions . . . to deliver a vaccine that helped to stem the tide of a global pandemic that was killing millions of people,” Jacobs told Financial Times.
All of a sudden situation has come to a point where all of a sudden government is saying, “Now we don’t think we need it as much. Sorry, you’re out of luck,’ reported FT quoting John Jacobs.
Other vaccine makers are also suffering to survive in the COVID vaccine market as BioNTech/Pfizer plans to supply as many as 70 million doses a year until 2026, leaving lesser opportunities for Novavax, Moderna, and Sanofi.
Novavax, like its counterparts, BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna, has the license to supply Covid jabs in the US EU, and other western countries. The slump in demand has posed a major challenge for all the COVID vaccine makers as they are facing steep falls in sales.
Still, Big Pharma persists.
Three years and billions of Covid vaccinations into the pandemic, Pfizer and Moderna
say their work is far from over.
The two pharmaceutical companies, whose Covid vaccines have become household names, are ushering in a new era for their shots that will elevate the role they play in protecting public health, but also simplify what people need to do to coexist with the virus.
That involves developing new versions of the vaccines that aim to provide broader and longer-lasting immunity against the virus, and combination jabs that protect against Covid and other respiratory diseases in a single dose, among other efforts.
Those plans coincide with a broader shift in the Covid pandemic landscape.
The U.S. and global-level public health emergencies are over, vaccine uptake and sales growth have slowed, and both Pfizer and Moderna will sell their shots directly to health-care providers at around $110 to $130 per dose as soon as the fall, when the federal stockpile of free vaccines is expected to run out.
I wish the pharma companies a ton of good luck getting $100 for a shot they can’t seem to give away for free.DONATE
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