Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) on Tuesday raised its forecast for 2021 COVID-19 vaccine sales by more than 70 per cent to $26 billion and said demand from governments around the world fighting to halt the pandemic could contribute to its growth for years to come.
Revenue from the vaccine – developed with German partner BioNTech SE – is expected to account for more than one third of Pfizer’s sales this year.
The company said it expects to file for full U.S. approval of the vaccine in May for people over the age of 16, as it is now only authorized for emergency use. It also expects to hear soon from U.S. regulators on expansion of the vaccine’s emergency use authorization (EUA) for children ages 12-15.
The forecast is based on contracts to deliver 1.6 billion vaccine doses this year. The company expects to sign more deals for this year and is in supply talks with several countries for 2022 and beyond.
The two-shot vaccine was Pfizer’s top-selling product in the first quarter. Expenses and profit from the vaccine are split 50-50 between Pfizer and BioNTech.
Given persistent infections globally and ongoing discussions with governments, Mizuho analyst Vamil Divan said the 2021 forecast could increase further and spill over to future years.
Daily vaccination rates for adults in the United States are off more than 25 per cent since hitting a peak in mid-April. Authorisation in children would expand the vaccine-eligible population by millions of people.
The company has also filed new data with US regulators that would allow the vaccine to be stored at standard refrigerator temperatures for up to four weeks, up from five days currently.