Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna both increased the price of their coronavirus vaccines in their latest contracts with the European Union, France’s minister for European affairs said on Monday.
Speaking in an interview with Radio France Internationale, the minister, Clément Beaune, did not specify the exact rises in price. But as the more contagious Delta variant continues to spread across the continent, he said that the increases were justified because the vaccines would be “a more demanding product, adapted to the variant.”
His comments followed an article in the Financial Times on Sunday that said the price for a Pfizer-BioNTech shot had risen to $23 from about $18.50 in the contracts, and that Moderna’s had risen to $25.50, up from $22.60.
Mr. Beaune said the vaccines would be “a little more expensive” not only for the European Union, but for all buyers.
The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, declined to comment about the increases on Monday, citing confidentiality clauses.
The Commission signed a third contract with Pfizer-BioNTech in May for 1.8 billion vaccine doses and said it had ordered an additional 150 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine in June. It also said it had amended its contract with Moderna to allow for the purchase of vaccines adapted to new variants and booster shots.
Those moves were part of the bloc’s decision to shift the focus of its inoculation campaign to mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna after a series of setbacks with the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines that had been the initial cornerstones of the bloc’s coronavirus response.
“We need to focus now on technologies that have proven their worth: mRNA vaccines are a clear case in point,” the Commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, said in a statement in April.
Pfizer’s vaccine has brought in $7.8 billion in revenue in the last three months, the company said last week, and is on track to generate more than $33.5 billion this year.
After initially lagging behind the United States and other developed countries, the E.U. inoculation campaign has gained momentum in recent weeks. Over 70 percent of the bloc’s adults are now vaccinated with one dose, and over 57 percent are fully inoculated.
The European Medicines Agency, the bloc’s drug regulator, said last month that it was too early to determine whether booster shots would be needed.