Business Essentials for Professionals


Covid-19 Vaccine Makers Set To Reap Billions From Booster Doses

Covid-19 Vaccine Makers Set To Reap Billions From Booster Doses
Covid-19 booster shots could lead vaccine makers Drugmakers Pfizer Inc, BioNTech and Moderna Inc to generate billions of dollars while the market for the shots could last for years to come and could be bigger than the $6 billion in annual sales for flu vaccines, predicts analysts and healthcare investors.
The companies have been saying for months now that people who are fully vaccinated will still require an additional shot of their vaccines for ensuring there is enough protection against Covid-19 for the long term as well as from potential new variants of eh coronavirus.
Now in the wake of the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, booster doses to older citizens or people with weak immune systems are being offered by a number of governments including Chile, Germany and Israel, and the number of governments is increasing.  
A booster dose of vaccines from Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc for people with compromised immune systems was authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration late on Thursday.
Vaccine shots worth more than $600 billion in sale revenues have been locked up for the current year and the next by Pfizer, along with its German partner BioNTech, and Moderna combined. That includes billions of dollars in potential boosters for wealthy nations in addition to supplying of the initial two doses of their vaccines.
According to estimates of analysts, revenue of over $6.6 billion will be generated by the Pfizer/BioNTech shot and $7.6 billion for the Moderna shot in the next few years - most of which will be from booster doses of the vaccines. Eventually, the annual market for the Covid-19 vaccines would settle at about $5 billion or higher as more companies come up with other vaccines for the disease.
There is evidence that the levels of antibodies from the first two shots of their vaccines in fully vaccinated people drop after a period of six months, the vaccine makers say, in addition to a rising number of cases of breakthrough infections in some countries hit by the Delta variant of the coronavirus. Based on the evidence, the companies are now pushing for a booster dose.
Early stage data from some studies have suggested that a higher dose at the outset is delivered by the Moderna vaccine and could be more durable compared to the Pfizer vaccine. However, experts and scientists say that more studies are required for determining there is any influencing effect of age or underlying health of the people vaccinated in the comparative results of the efficacy of the vaccines.
At this stage, therefore, there is little concrete evidence of how many people would actually require a booster dose of the vaccines and how often would they require it. Additionally, the number of competitors who enter the market will also determine the profit potential from the booster shots.
Questions about whether enough evidence is available now to mandate the requirement of booster doses are being raised by some scientists.
"We don't know what the market forces will be," Moderna President Stephen Hoge said in an interview last week. "At some point, this will become a more traditional market - we'll look at what are the populations at risk, what value are we creating, and what are the number of products that serve that value. That will ultimately impact price."

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc