NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Pfizer again lifted its 2021 profit and revenue outlook on Tuesday, bolstered by the latest surge in COVID-19 vaccinations, including regulatory approvals for boosters and shots for younger populations.
The drugmaker now expects 2.3 billion dosage deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 for the shots jointly produced with Germany’s BioNTech, up 200 million from its previous forecast in July. That will bring total 2021 revenues for the vaccine to US$36 billion, from US$33.5 billion.
Pfizer said higher forecast 2021 results reflect the boost from the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as the performance of Pfizer’s broader business.
On Friday, US health authorities approved Pfizer’s vaccine for children aged five to 11, paving the way for 28 million young Americans to soon get immunised.
Shares rallied on the announcement, which comes on the heels of similar earnings releases by Pfizer in May and July that also showed how the vaccine has transformed the company’s financial performance over the last year.
In the most recent quarter, the company’s revenues were US$24.1 billion, more than double the level in the year-ago period, with US$13 billion coming from revenues tied to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Profits shot up to US$8.1 billion, compared with US$1.5 billion in the year-ago period.
While Pfizer’s financial performance has thrived thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine, the company has been criticised by non-governmental organisations for placing profits above public health in its dealings with governments over the shot.
A recent report by advocacy group Public Citizen accused the company of “bullying” authorities and called for the US government to assume greater leverage with the company.
Pfizer has defended its comportment, saying in Tuesday’s press release that it plans to sell the US government one billion doses “at a not-for-profit price to be donated to the world’s poorest nations at no charge to those countries”.
Pfizer shares jumped 2.9 per cent to US$44.92 in pre-market trading.