Pfizer and Moderna could make billions of dollars from COVID-19 booster shots, earnings comparable to the $6 billion generated each year in flu vaccine sales.
That’s according to a Friday, August 13, report from Reuters, which says the companies expect vaccinated people will need boosters to project against the coronavirus and new variants.
Several countries, including Chile, Germany and Israel, have begun offering boosters to older people and those with weaker immune systems as the Delta variant of the virus spreads. The US Food and Drug administration has taken similar measures, authorizing Pfizer and Moderna boosters for immune-compromised Americans.
Pfizer — and its German partner BioNTech — and Moderna have taken in more than $60 billion in sales from the vaccines. According to Reuters, analysts see Pfizer/BioNTech generating $6.6 billion in revenue in 2023, with Moderna taking in $7.6 billion, primarily from booster shots. Ultimately, they forecast the annual market at $5 billion or more as other drug companies vie for the same sales.
The Reuters report notes there’s some uncertainty around boosters, such as how many people will need to get additional shots and how often.
Some research shows Moderna’s vaccine is more durable than Pfizer’s, but it’s not clear if that’s linked to the vaccinated person’s age or health. The World Health Organization has suggested governments wait for more people to get their initial doses worldwide before moving onto booster shots.
Meanwhile, Americans continue to find ways to combat/cope with the ongoing pandemic and the contagious Delta variant. The Broadway League says all 41 Broadway theaters will require performers, staff, crew members and audiences to be vaccinated, with audience members wearing masks outside of designated areas for eating and drinking.
Google said last month it was delaying its employees’ return to physical offices until October 18, at which time vaccinations will be required.
And last week, United Airlines became the first major air carrier to require its workers — some 68,000 of them — to receive vaccinations.