With four vaccine candidates in final stage human trials and firms eyeing to launch them by year-end, the topic has now veered towards the pricing of the shots and which countries would access them first. The Covid-19 vaccine candidates by University of Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna Inc, Pfizer Inc-BioNTech and Chinese firm Sinovac are all undergoing Phase III trials at present.
While Pfizer, Moderna and Merck & Co have said they plan to sell their vaccines at a profit, some drug makers, including Johnson & Johnson have announced plans to price their vaccines on a not-for-profit basis. Johnson and Johnson has said it would make the Covid-19 vaccine available at $10 for “emergency pandemic use”.
However, even before regulatory approval, several rich countries have entered into pre-purchase agreements with vaccine manufacturers, a development that has come to be known as “vaccine nationalism”. Experts have contended that the move was harmful for equitable access to vaccines.