Pfizer, Inc. reported that the company sold $7.8 billion worth of their COVID-19 biologic BNT162b2 in the second quarter of this year raising the company’s 2021 sales forecast for the two-dose vaccine to $33.5 billion from the previously estimated $26 billion.1 The $7.8 billion from direct sales of the shot is split with its German partner, BioNTech.2
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said:
The second quarter was remarkable in a number of ways. Most visibly, the speed and efficiency of our efforts with BioNTech to help vaccinate the world against COVID-19 have been unprecedented, with now more than a billion doses of BNT162b2 having been delivered globally.3
Pfizer/BioNTech Raise Price of Their Shot and Seek FDA Authorization for Booster Dose
Pfizer and BioNTech have increased the price of their COVID-19 biologic after data from clinical trials showed their mRNA technology was more effective than cheaper vaccines manufactured by the United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca and the U.S.-based Johnson & Johnson.4
The U.S. government is currently paying Pfizer approximately $24 per dose, which increased from $19.50 per dose that the government paid the company in its earlier contract with the company in the beginning of 2021.5
A spokesperson for Pfizer said:
The price for this order accounts for the additional investment necessary to produce, package and deliver new formulations of the vaccine, as well as the increased cost associated with delivering the vaccine in smaller pack sizes to facilitate delivery at individual provider offices, including pediatricians.6
Pfizer and BioNTech have said that they are seeing signs of waning immunity in people who received the first two doses of BNT162b2. The company plans to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize a booster dose it says will also target the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.7
The booster dose will be given to people six months after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. “We are quite convinced that a booster will be needed. There’s so much at stake, you can’t take risks,” Bourla said.8
“The initial prices were set before any vaccine was approved and before anyone knew which vaccines would be most effective,” said economist Alex Tabarrok, PhD of George Mason University. “Now that we know that the mRNA vaccines are superb, it wouldn’t surprise me if the prices for boosters against new variants were a bit higher.”9
In a report issued last month, the Israeli Ministry of Health estimated the effectiveness of BNT162b2 in preventing infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Israel at 39 percent. More recently, a study by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota found BNT162b2 to be 42 percent effective in preventing infection with the virus. That study included data from 25,000 vaccinated people from January to July 2021.10 11
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1 Lovelace B. Pfizer sells $7.8 billion in Covid shots in the second quarter, raises 2021 guidance on vaccine sales. CNBC July 28, 2021.
2 Johnson L. Pfizer hikes 2021 outlook after vaccine boosts sales, profit. AP News July 28, 2021.
3 Lovelace B. Pfizer sells $7.8 billion in Covid shots in the second quarter, raises 2021 guidance on vaccine sales. CNBC July 28, 2021.
4 Kollewe J. Covid-19 vaccines: the contracts, prices and profits. The Guardian Aug. 11, 2021.
5 Hopkins J. U.S. Buys 200 Million Covid-19 Vaccines From Pfizer and BioNTech at About $24 a Shot. The Wall Street Journal July 23, 2021.
7 Lovelace B. Pfizer sells $7.8 billion in Covid shots in the second quarter, raises 2021 guidance on vaccine sales. CNBC July 28, 2021.
8 Johnson L. Pfizer hikes 2021 outlook after vaccine boosts sales, profit. AP News July 28, 2021.
9 Merelli A. How much money will Pfizer and Moderna make from their booster shots? QZ.com Apr. 16, 2021.
10 Lovelace B. Israel says Pfizer Covid vaccine is just 39% effective as delta spreads, but still prevents severe illness. CNBC July 23, 2021.
11 IANS. COVID-19 | Moderna 76% effective against Delta variant, Pfizer 42%: Study. Money Control Aug. 12, 2021.