Several months into the global pandemic, there are five coronavirus vaccine options in late-stage testing. For Americans, this means we can expect access to a COVID-19 shot in the first half of next year. If you have seen some of the hospital bills associated with coronavirus, you may be concerned about the potential cost of a COVID shot.
The Cost of a Flu Shot
It is easy to think about the high cost of developing a vaccine. Oftentimes, millions, even billions, of dollars are spent to develop something effective. When it comes to developing a vaccine for COVID-19, however, it is fairly similar to creating a flu shot.
People who get a flu shot every year know that the price of that vaccine typically lands around $40. Other vaccines, like the shot for shingles, can cost up to $300 for a series of two shots. So, how much will a coronavirus vaccine cost?
How Much a Coronavirus Vaccine Will Cost
You’re probably thinking the cost will land somewhere between $40 and $300. Believe it or not, the coronavirus vaccine will cost you $0 out of pocket (on the spot anyway). The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to make the vaccine readily available and free to all American citizens. The price will be $0 regardless of your age, income, or health insurance.
Patients seeking the vaccine will likely need to prepare for the fees associated with administering the shot. Your healthcare provider can provide information about the cost of in-office services. Typically, your insurance company will pay these fees.
In the end, though, someone has to foot the bill for developing and distributing the coronavirus vaccine to millions of people. Of course, it will fall on the taxpayer. Anyone paying federal taxes will inadvertently also pay for the COVID-19 vaccine.
How Much Will Your Taxes Increase?
The HHS plans to purchase 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine at $19.50 per dose ($1.95 billion). If it was just this amount spread out across taxpayers in the U.S., your tax bill would only go up about $16 per year. But when all is said and done, you’ll pay more than that.
Health and Human Services has already announced that it would provide hundreds of billions in funding to various companies to help support the development of a vaccine. Government agencies are also working on closing deals valued in the billions for other potential vaccine solutions.
According to The Motley Fool, the overall cost to the taxpayer for a coronavirus vaccine will end up coming in around $51. So much for a no-cost vaccine.