Your COVID-19 vaccines and boosters won’t be free for much longer, and Moderna is reportedly licking its chops at the prospect of charging as much as $130 per dose for your next booster shot.

At some point in the not-too-distant future, and we don’t know when, COVID-19 vaccine and booster shots will no longer be gratis. The U.S. government is paying for them now, but that arrangement will eventually end. And since not enough people are getting their updated booster shots, perhaps this latest bit of news from the Wall Street Journal will encourage more people to get that Omicron-specific, bivalent booster ASAP.  

Hang on to your Covered California card, because the Wall Street Journal reports that “Moderna Inc. said it is considering pricing its Covid-19 vaccine in a range of $110 to $130 per dose in the U.S. when it shifts from government contracting to commercial distribution of the shots.”

If that doesn’t outrage you enough, consider that the U.S. government is currently paying roughly $26 a dose for the current updated shot.

Why the enormous price increase? A) Because they can. B) Because as Axios explains, “A wavering demand for the shots paired with private market pressures are expected to cost manufacturers billions once the federal government stops buying the doses and sales shift to commercial distribution.”

But note the wording that the doses are “expected to cost manufacturers billions once the federal government stops buying the doses.” This explanation fails to take into account the estimated $30 billion the government has already handed Big Pharma companies for the shots given thus far. And what about the fact that insurance companies will be footing much of this cost and impacting our premiums?

And can you say “collusion?” In October, Axios reported that Pfizer also intended to charge the same $110-$130 for a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Related: Next Omicron Subvariant Arrives In Bay Area; Not Enough People Are Getting Updated Boosters [SFist]

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