Belgian Budget Minister Eva De Bleeker, has revealed the different secret prices of the vaccines that the European Commission (EC) has negotiated with the laboratories, a confidential list that it placed on Twitter and that it later deleted, recognizing that it had been too transparent.
According to this list, published in different currencies according to each contract, the price of the doses of the future vaccine of AstraZeneca-Oxford rises to 1.78 euros, that of Johnson & Johnson reaches 6.9 euros, that of Sanofi-GSK to 7.56 euros and that of CureVac to 10 euros.
The dose of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, which the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to approve on Monday 21 and begin to distribute before the end of the year, it would cost 12 euros (about 14 dollars) and two doses per person are necessary.
The doses of the Moderna prototype, upon whose conditional approval the EMA will pronounce next January 6, it would amount to 14.6 euros ($ 18).
The Belgian Government has budgeted a provision of 279,120,190 euros (about $ 342,275,254) for the vaccines, which will be distributed voluntarily and free of charge to the 11.6 million residents of that Central European country.
The European Commission, which in recent months has barely wanted to give details about the negotiations with the pharmaceutical companies, beyond announcing the agreements reached with different laboratories and the number of doses signed, has avoided confirming whether the prices revealed by the Belgian minister are those reflected in the contracts.
The Commission’s chief spokesman, Éric Mamer, pointed out that confidentiality is part of the contracts with the laboratories and recalled that “Price information is available to Member States, as part of negotiations” and it will also be shared with the European Parliament.
“This confidentiality is in the interest of the companies, without a doubt, but also in the public interest, in the interest of the negotiations, of the Commission and of the Member States and of the European citizens because we want to reach fair agreements with the different companies “, specified the spokesman for Health of the EC, Stefan de Keersmaecker.
“If this information were made public, it would weaken the negotiating position of the Commission “added.
For her part, the Belgian minister, from the Flemish liberal party Open Vld, deleted the list she had published and apologized for having revealed that information guarded closely for months.
“I was sleeping when they called me after spend 26 to 27 hours of debate here (in the federal Parliament). As the discussion continued, I wanted to decide once and for all, perhaps too much, “he declared.
The Community Executive, which negotiates on behalf of the capitals, has built a varied portfolio with the six European and American pharmaceutical companies mentioned above, and is closing negotiations with a seventh, Novavax.
In case the EMA consider that all prototypes are effective and safe, the EU would have enough doses to vaccinate twice the 447 million European citizens and would donate the surplus to neighboring countries.
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