Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, who recently announced that a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose will be necessary for everyone who has already gotten three doses, was awarded $24.3 million in personal financial compensation in 2021. In addition to his $1.69 million salary, which increased by 15 percent, Bourla took home a cash incentive of $8 million, received stock and options totaling $13.2 million, and secured $1.38 million in other compensation. His 597,000 shares of Pfizer stock are worth more than $32 million.1
FDA Staff Bypasses FDA Advisory Committee to Approve Fourth Pfizer Dose
Regarding the fourth booster of COVID vaccine, Bourla stated that, even though the third dose has worked well for prevention of hospitalizations and death, a fourth shot is necessary.2 Bourla has also stated that Pfizer booster shots will likely need to be administered on an annual basis.
Pfizer submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the fourth dose on Mar. 17, 2022. On Mar. 29. the FDA granted the EUA for administration to people age 50 and older.2
The FDA staff granted Pfizer an EUA for the fourth dose after bypassing a meeting of the agency’s Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) —a move which has historically been rare but has become increasingly frequent with approvals related to COVID-19 vaccines. Moving forward to approve the COVID vaccine fourth dose without a recommendation by VRBPAC drew criticism from some committee members.2
Last fall, two senior FDA officials stepped down over disagreements with how the FDA, CDC, and White House were developing and handling COVID vaccine policy.3
Pfizer Projects $54 Billion in COVID Related Sales for 2022
Pfizer’s profit almost doubled in 2021, reaching $22 billion, as it became the most widely administered COVID biological in both the U.S. and European Union (E.U.), and sales made up roughly 45 percent of its annual revenue. Pfizer is projecting $32 billion in vaccine sales for 2022, with the company projecting at least $22 billion in sales from their new COVID treatment pill known as Paxlovid.1
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1 Kimball S. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla received $24.3 million in total compensation for 2021. CNBC Mar. 18, 2022.
2 Kimball S. FDA authorizes fourth Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccine doses for people ages 50 and older. CNBC Mar. 29, 2022.
3 Hobley N. Two FDA officials resign over White House booster shot decision. The Vaccine Reaction Oct. 4, 2021.