Europe is keen to strengthen protection and contain the spread of the more contagious delta variant.
According to the British Financial Times (FT), Pfizer and Moderna are the two most effective manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines, and they have increased vaccine prices in their latest European Union (EU) supply contracts.
The newspaper quoted some contracts it had seen saying that the new price of Pfizer injections was 19.50 euros (23.15 US dollars), compared with 15.50 euros (18.39 US dollars) before.
The British “Financial Times” quoted a person close to this incident.
Al Jazeera’s London-based Neave Barker said that price increases reflect continued demand for effective injections and that the government has become a “captive” for pharmaceutical companies.
“EU countries are keen to prevent the spread of Delta variants,” he said. “The European Union and other countries are considering the possibility of boosting injections to improve efficacy.”
Pfizer declined to comment on the contract with the European Commission (EC) on grounds of confidentiality. The company said: “Except for the revised contract issued by EC, the content remains confidential, so we will not comment.”
Moderna did not immediately comment to Reuters.
Last Tuesday, the European Commission stated that the EU is expected to achieve the goal of fully vaccinating at least 70% of the adult population by the end of September. In May of this year, the European Union stated that it expects to receive more than 1 billion doses of vaccine from four pharmaceutical manufacturers by then.
The World Health Organization urges wealthy countries to share vaccine doses instead of boosting injections, because the new epidemics in Asian and African countries are accelerating, and the proportion of people receiving vaccines in these countries is much smaller.
According to the “Daily Telegraph” report, Israel has begun to provide booster injections to people in their 60s and above, and the UK may start to provide booster injections next month.
According to a draft document seen by AFP, Germany may also provide boosters to the elderly and high-risk groups from September 1. The document also recommends the promotion of vaccination for people between 12 and 17 years old.
Health Minister Jens Spahn and Germany’s 16 regional health ministers are expected to finalize these plans at a meeting on Monday.
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