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Paying Twice for a Vaccine: Moderna is Taking Taxpayers For a Ride

WASHINGTON - Moderna said today that taxpayer money funds 100% of its work to bring a COVID-19 vaccine to licensure, yet it announced new, higher intended prices for the prospective vaccine this morning on a call with investors. Moderna now says it will charge $32 to $37 per dose for smaller volume sales agreements, the highest price yet announced for a potential vaccine. Public Citizen and Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) wrote to the federal government Friday, noting that Moderna has been ignoring public disclosure provisions in its vaccine development funding contract. Public Citizen also found the U.S. government may co-own a vaccine candidate with Moderna. 

Statement of Peter Maybarduk, Director, Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program:

Moderna is taking taxpayers for a ride – and the Trump administration is doing nothing about it.


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Taxpayers are paying for 100% of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine development. All of it. Yet taxpayers may wind up paying tens of billions more to Moderna to buy our vaccine back, if it proves safe and effective.

The so-called Moderna vaccine belongs in significant part to the people of the U.S. We paid for it. Federal scientists led the way. It ought to be the people’s vaccine, not a new taxpayer burden.


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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

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