Pfizer looks to fourth doses
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution now covers 179 countries. In Q1, 2022, Comirnaty sales reached $13.2bn, driven by continued global uptake as well as pediatric and booster doses, and representing a slight increase on the $12.5bn in the fourth quarter of 2021.
It maintains estimates for 2022 revenues of $32bn: which would be a robust total despite a decline on 2021, where it posted revenues of $37bn for the vaccine.
Albert Bourla, CEO, says the company expects to see an uptick in demand for fourth doses.
“Our market research shows that greater than 96% of healthcare provider respondents in key markets (US and EU5) continue to recommend a third dose/booster to their patients,” he said.
“We also have seen an upward trend in uptake of a third dose/booster in various developed markets. In these same key markets, 74% of people who have received the initial two-dose regimen reported that they have already received a third dose/booster shot, and 13% of the respondents said they are very likely to receive a booster. We believe this is an encouraging leading indicator for the potential uptake of a fourth dose.”
Moderna raises 2022 expectations
Sales of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, which is authorized in more than 40 countries, are on the up.
The company reported Q1 COVID-19 vaccines sales of $5.9bn, up from $1.7bn in Q1, 2021 (when the vaccine was still in the process of gaining authorizations around the world).
Signed advanced purchase agreements for the company in 2022 are currently sat at $21bn, up from previous forecasts of $19bn. This compares to $17.7bn in 2021 sales of the vaccine.
“Moderna believes that COVID market dynamics will result in sales slightly larger in the second half of 2022 than in the first half,” said the company.
Furthermore, it believes that the booster market will continue to be an mRNA vaccine market, despite the advancement of other vaccine technologies in the COVID-19 vaccine market. It points to the effectiveness of its vaccine as a fourth dose: In 56,806 long-term care residents that were tested, a fourth dose increased vaccine effectiveness against all three outcomes [infection, symptomatic infection and severe outcomes] compared to residents who received a third dose more than 84 days prior.
And the company notes that people at high risk would benefit from annual boosting: such as those aged over 50, healthcare workers, or those with medical conditions.
Both companies continue to work on variant-specific vaccines and boosters: as well as development programs to combine the COVID-19 jab with other vaccines.