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COVID-19 vaccine | Sputnik V to be priced much lower than Moderna, Pfizer vaccines

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel has said their COVID-19 vaccine would cost the same as a flu shot which is between $10-$50.

November 22, 2020 / 06:21 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image


Hours after the US pharmaceutical giant Moderna said it would charge governments between $25 and $37 per dose for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Russian drugmaker Sputnik V claimed that its vaccine would be cheaper than those of Pfizer and Moderna.

"Translating pharma lingo: the announced price of Pfizer of $19.50 and Moderna of $25-$37 per dose actually means their price of $39 and $50-$74 per person. Two doses are required per person for the Pfizer, Sputnik V and Moderna vaccines. The price of Sputnik V will be much lower," Sputnik V wrote on Twitter on November 22.

Moderna to charge $25-$37 for COVID-19 vaccine, says CEO

While speaking with the German weekly Welt am Sonntag (WamS), Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel had said their COVID-19 vaccine would cost the same as a flu shot which is between $10-$50.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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In its earlier announcement, Moderna had claimed that its experimental vaccine is 94.5 percent effective, which is based on the interim data from the last-clinical trial. With this, Moderna has become the second developer after Pfizer and its partner BioNTech to report results that far exceeded expectations.
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