Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer expects sales of COVID-19 vaccine to reach about $33.5 billion in 2021, an increase of nearly 30% from its earlier forecast, as the jab plays an increasing role in the fight against the deadly virus worldwide.
The outlook update came Wednesday, as the company announced its quarterly earnings, and as concerns grew about its most contagious delta variant, Pfizer also said booster shots would likely be needed to ensure protection from the virus.
US officials have not yet authorized the use of the booster rounds, although they are studying the case. Meantime, Pfizer and BioNTech SE plan to seek US regulatory approval for a booster dose in August.
A clinical trial to test an updated version of its vaccine targeting the Delta variant is also set to begin next month, the company.
Pfizer’s sales forecast reflects the company’s growing role in the global campaign amid the pandemic and the increased possibility that some vaccinated individuals will need booster injections to maintain protection against the virus.
“Immunocompromised patients may be among the first groups that regulators allow for booster doses, following similar decisions by many other countries,” WSJ said.