Pharmaceutical behemoth Pfizer, under the leadership of CEO Albert Bourla, is adjusting its earnings forecasts due to the unexpected drop in demand for Covid vaccines and treatments. This shift in demand has caused Pfizer’s shares to decline, with the latest Covid booster rollout failing to generate the anticipated enthusiasm for fourth, fifth, or sixth doses.
Pfizer had initially anticipated sales in the range of $67-70 billion. However, the revised projection now places their revenue at $58-$61 billion, with the decrease attributed solely to the performance of their Covid-related products, as reported by CNBC. The Biden administration fervently promoted the new vaccines over the summer, with even CNN suggesting a return to face masks in anticipation of a potential new Covid wave.
This decrease in demand extends beyond vaccines to Covid treatments as well. Pfizer had high hopes for their Covid treatment products, including Paxlovid, but these revenue expectations have also been scaled back by $7 billion.
The decline in interest in Covid vaccines can be attributed to several factors. The recent booster rollout in September received significant attention from government figures, including President Joe Biden, who shared videos of themselves getting vaccinated. However, this enthusiasm has not translated into widespread willingness among the American populace to receive additional doses.
Fewer Americans have sought out further vaccinations, and those who have contracted Covid are seeking treatment less frequently. According to CNBC, this can be attributed to the prevalence of previous vaccinations and infections, which have resulted in milder cases for many individuals.
Nevertheless, there is growing dissent not only against Covid restrictions imposed by governments, including the Biden administration, but also against perceived misinformation propagated by government and pharmaceutical industry entities.
When the vaccine was initially introduced under President Biden, it came with emergency use authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration, accompanied by the claim that vaccinated individuals would be protected from Covid. This claim has proven to be untrue. Furthermore, concerns about vaccine side effects gained traction on social media, and the government’s attempts to downplay these concerns were met with skepticism.
Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine, developed in 2020, was not part of Operation Warp Speed, a Trump administration initiative aimed at expediting various Covid vaccines’ development. Pfizer was the first to introduce a vaccine, which differs from traditional vaccines in that it recommends boosters every six months or so.