Pfizer Inc on Tuesday forecast $26 billion in sales of coronavirus vaccine this year, a more than 70% jump from its last projection, reflecting new contracts with worldwide governments trying to halt the pandemic through swift vaccination.
The raised goal assumes 1.6 billion jabs of vaccine, which is co-developed with BioNTech SE, are set to be delivered in the year, with the 2-shot vaccine emerging as the best-selling product for the U.S. drugmaker in the first quarter.
It is expected to make up for over one-third of Pfizer’s full-year sales, with the company in supply talks with many countries for 2022 and beyond.
Chief Executive Albert Bourla said in his prepared remarks that “based on what we’ve seen, we believe that a durable demand for our COVID-19 vaccine – similar to that of the flu vaccines – is a likely outcome.”
Cost and gross profit from the vaccine are split 50-50 between Pfizer and BioNTech. The 2 drugmakers had announced their aim to produce up to 2.5 billion shots this year, of which 900 million jabs have not been included in Pfizer’s forecast.
If it sells that number of jabs, the vaccine sales in 2021 could be at least 50% higher than the projected $26 billion.
The company has announced that it expects to profit from the vaccine, while some drugmakers including Johnson & Johnson said their vaccine will be available on a not-for-profit basis until the end of the global pandemic.
Pfizer said it was using the technology used in the coronavirus dose known as messenger RNA to develop 2 flu vaccines that are expected to enter clinical studies in the third quarter.