Pfizer Inc. now expects its Covid-19 vaccine to bring in $33.5 billion in revenue this year, putting it on course to become one of the best-selling medicines of all time.
The New York drugmaker had previously projected vaccine sales for the year of $26 billion. The upward revision is a significant demand for the shots Pfizer sells with German partner BioNTech SE, which is surging as countries battle new outbreaks fueled by the delta virus variant.
In the second quarter, the vaccine booked $7.8 billion in sales, Pfizer said in a statement Wednesday, more than the $7.05 billion analysts expected, on average. The companies, which have delivered 1 billion doses of the two-shot regimen, have contracts for 2.1 billion doses through mid-July and will produce 3 billion shots by the end of the year.
If Pfizer’s sales projections are met, the vaccine will climb into the highest rank of blockbuster medicines. Thanks to the delta variant, a resurgence of virus infections is likely to mean sustained demand for vaccines globally.
The companies will begin a study of a new delta-fighting vaccine formulation next month. They’re also discussing with regulators the potential need for third-dose booster shots of the existing formulation to bolster the immunity gained in the initial round of immunizations.
The company said regulators would determine “whether, and which, populations to recommend booster” and that they will likely first focus on those with compromised immune systems and older adults.
Shares of Pfizer were up 3.2% at 5:00 p.m. New York on Wednesday. Through the close on Tuesday, they have gained more than 15% this year.
On Friday, the U.S. clinched a 200 million-dose supply deal with Pfizer and BioNTech. The latest agreement grants the Biden administration the option to acquire an updated version of the shot to tackle potential variants if authorized and proves 65 million vaccines for kids under 12.
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