Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of the Barbados Today.
by Dick Stoute
I got a letter from a reputable organization asking for donations to purchase vaccines, but was shocked at the price. According to it, two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to cost Barbados US$100 plus US$50 to transport, store and administer.
Why so high?
The organization promised that there would be no administration fee, so that is not adding to the cost, but something else is. An internet search shows that the EU is paying US $2.15 per dose, the UK is paying about US$3 per dose, and the US$4 per dose. So why is it costing us US$50.00 per dose for the vaccine?
Looking further for AstraZeneca pricing, I found that South Africa paid US$5.25 per dose, because the World Bank classifies them as upper middle income and unlike the EU, UK and USA, they did not contribute to the vaccine development cost.
AstraZeneca has committed itself not to make a profit from this vaccine, so I expect that they are not pricing the vaccine at “what the market can bear”.
I would like to contribute to this fund, but I need to understand why the price is so high for Barbados. Can anyone explain?