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Pfizer’s Outlook Cut Affects Vaccine Manufacturers’ Stocks


Pfizer’s adjusted COVID-19 vaccine sales forecast has sparked concerns about the size of the U.S. COVID-19 vaccine and treatment market in the long term. Pfizer reduced its full-year sales forecast for its antiviral COVID treatment Paxlovid by about $7 billion and for the vaccine developed with BioNTech by about $2 billion due to a decline in the use of pandemic-related products. The lowered outlook has affected shares of BioNTech, Moderna, and Novavax, which rely on the U.S. market for their COVID vaccines. BioNTech shares dropped 7.2%, Moderna was down 5%, and Novavax shares fell 7%.

Pfizer’s reduction in the sales forecast has raised concerns about the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations and the potential impact on vaccine makers. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla noted that around 17% of the U.S. population is expected to receive updated COVID shots during the current vaccination campaign, similar to last year but significantly lower than the initial vaccination rates in spring 2021. He mentioned that the U.S. is experiencing “COVID fatigue” with a desire to move past the disease.

Moderna, in a statement, maintained its current revenue forecast of $6 billion to $8 billion for its COVID vaccine for 2023. Analysts expressed concerns about Moderna’s rate of spending and the potential need for increased cost-cutting measures. Pfizer’s new COVID outlook implies lower vaccine sales for Moderna than initially forecast.

BioNTech, which relies on profit-sharing payments from Pfizer, announced a write-down of up to 900 million euros ($947 million), the same size charge Pfizer announced for it on Friday. The write-offs are related to raw materials and inventories of older or different vaccine versions.

Pfizer’s shares rose nearly 5% following the announcement of a $3.5 billion cost-cutting plan. The company expects the demand for updated COVID shots during the current campaign to be the base rate for the year, monitoring the ongoing vaccination campaign for further insights.

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