Report: Companies Stand to Make Billions Off Coronavirus Booster Shots

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PAUL BOIS The advent of coronavirus booster shots could rake in billions of dollars in profits for companies like Pfizer and Moderna, according to the Associated Press (AP).

“Billions more in profits are at stake for some vaccine makers as the U.S. moves toward dispensing COVID-19 booster shots to shore up Americans’ protection against the virus,” reported the AP. “How much the manufacturers stand to gain depends on how big the rollout proves to be.”

Though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved the Pfizer booster shot for Americans 65 and older as well as high-risk Americans, experts predict booster shots will soon be available for all Americans, which will include products from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. With that comes big profits, especially when factoring in that companies will not have the same massive overhead costs of research and development as the initial shots. Currently, the average forecast among Wall Street analysts for “Moderna’s 2022 revenue has jumped 35% since President Joe Biden laid out his booster plan in mid-August,” according to the AP.

“The opportunity quite frankly is reflective of the billions of people around the world who would need a vaccination and a boost,” Jefferies analyst Michael Yee told the outlet.

Since the vaccines were widely distributed in the United States, Pfizer has inoculated roughly 99 million people while Moderna has vaccinated 68 million; Johnson & Johnson has only vaccinated 14 million people. Regarding booster shots, Morningstar analyst Karen Andersen told the Associated Press that Pfizer and BioNTech could bring in $26 billion in 2022, while Moderna could profit $13 billion next year “from all COVID-19 vaccine sales if boosters are broadly authorized.”

“Potential vaccine profits are harder to estimate for Pfizer, but company executives have said they expect their pre-tax adjusted profit margin from the vaccine to be in the ‘high 20s’ as a percentage of revenue,” noted the AP. “That would translate to a profit of around $7 billion next year just from boosters, based on Andersen’s sales prediction.”

“J&J and Europe’s AstraZeneca have said they don’t intend to profit from their COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic,” the report added.

During an appearance on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla predicted that “the most likely scenario is annual revaccination” against the coronavirus.

“The most likely scenario for me, it is because the virus has spread all over the world, that we will continue seeing new variants that are coming out, and also we will have vaccines that will last at least a year. I think the most likely scenario is annual revaccinations, but we need to wait and see the data,” he said.