By G9ija

The World Health Organization on Wednesday urged COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to keep their prices low and affordable, after reports that two producers will raise the cost they are charging the EU.

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are upping the prices for their messenger RNA vaccines because they have adapted them to the new virus variants, according to reports.

The Pfizer vaccine will jump from 15.5 euros to 19.5 euros ($18.35 to $23) and Moderna from 19 euros to 21.5 euros ($22.5 to $25.45), British newspaper the Financial Times revealed Sunday, citing the contract concluded with the European Union.

Mariangela Simao, the WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines, vaccines and pharmaceuticals, told a press conference on Wednesday: “It’s very important that we have companies state policies of affordable prices.”

She said both Pfizer and Moderna had increased their manufacturing capacities, diversified their plants and increased production line efficiency.

“In a normal market situation, this would lead to a decreased price, not an increasing price.

“We have a market where the demand is very high in comparison with production.

“WHO urges companies to keep prices down and affordable prices.”

Half of the EU population has now been fully vaccinated, according to an AFP tally from official sources.