China’s Coronavirus Vaccine More Expensive Than Western Vaccines

Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine costs more than vaccines developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford University, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer.

KUALA LUMPUR, August 21 — China state-owned Sinopharm has priced its experimental Covid-19 vaccine at US$145 (RM604.71) for a two-dose regimen, reportedly 36 times more expensive than Oxford University’s vaccine candidate.

Newsweek reported Sinopharm chairman Liu Jing Zhen as saying that the experimental coronavirus vaccine produced by the health care company will be ready for public consumption by December this year.

“It will not be priced very high. It is expected to cost a few hundred yuan for a shot, and for two shots it should be less than 1,000 yuan,” Liu was quoted saying.

At the same time, AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish biopharmaceutical company, is reportedly planning to sell its Covid-19 vaccine that is being developed together with Oxford University at the cheapest price point of US$4 (RM16.71) per dose. The vaccine is in its last stage of clinical trials.

AstraZeneca is able to maintain its non-profit principles with immense support from the British government, according to Newsweek.

Johnson & Johnson in the United States reportedly priced their coronavirus vaccine at US$10 (RM41.77) per dose, more than two times higher than AstraZeneca’s vaccine. The American multinational corporation has reportedly agreed to give the US government 100 million doses of its Covid-19 experimental vaccine.

Besides that, Pfizer, a US-based pharmaceutical company, also signed a deal with the US government like Johnson & Johnson. According to Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla, the coronavirus vaccine produced by their company would be priced at US$20 (RM83.54).

Federal US health officials reportedly announced that the Covid-19 vaccine will be free for Americans once one becomes available. Health insurers are expected to pay the health care professionals who administer the vaccine.

However, US’ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr Anthony Fauci reportedly mentioned that he did not welcome the idea of mandating the vaccine to the public in the US.

“You don’t want to mandate and try to force anyone to take the vaccine,” Fauci was quoted saying.

“We don’t want to be mandating from the federal government to the general population. It would be unenforceable and inappropriate.”

It is to be noted that Russia has approved and is ready to market a Covid-19 vaccine, but Malaysia requires more scientific evidence before acknowledging that vaccine.

Scientists also have reportedly expressed concern about the opaque development of the Sputnik V, Russia’s newly approved Covid-19 vaccine and the lack of mass testing through Phase 3 trials. Dr Fauci reportedly cautioned people not to put high hopes on Russia’s vaccine.

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