KEY POINTS

  • Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine brought in $3.5 billion in revenue from January to March
  • A previous report suggested the vaccine would have a profit margin of $900 million
  • The company shipped 430 million doses of its vaccine to 91 countries on Tuesday

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has earned the company $3.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021, the company announced Tuesday.

The coronavirus vaccine made up nearly a quarter of the company’s total revenue from January to March 2021, its first quarter earnings report revealed. The vaccine is currently Pfizer’s biggest source of revenue. 

The drugmaker is expected to earn nearly $26 billion in total revenue from its vaccines this year. The figures are based on the signed contracts as of mid-April, which asks the company to provide 1.6 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the report noted.

Pfizer refused to disclose how much profits it made from the vaccine. However, a February report suggested that its profit margins on the COVID-19 vaccine shots would reach roughly $900 million in pretax vaccine profits for the first quarter. 

Pfizer has been the subject of controversy after it decided to make a profit out of its COVID-19 vaccines. In comparison, Moderna developed its vaccine using funding from the federal government. Johnson & Johnson sold its vaccine on a nonprofit basis. 

As of mid-April, wealthier nations have secured 87% of more than 700 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including Pfizer’s shots. However, poorer countries have only received 0.2%, the World Health Organization reported. 

“On average in high-income countries, almost one in four people has received a vaccine. In low-income countries, it’s one in more than 500. Let me repeat that: one in four versus one in 500,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanonom Ghebreyesus said during the agency’s briefing from Geneva in April. 

Pfizer has pledged to make its vaccine shots more accessible worldwide. In its earnings report, the company said it has shipped 430 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to 91 countries. However, it did not detail how many of the doses were sent to poor countries.

Pfizer recently announced its plans to file for emergency use approval of a booster shot that could help protect recipients against COVID-19 variants. The company will also apply for authorization for the use of its vaccine in children ages 2 to 11. 

Pfizer vaccines being prepared for injection at the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center in Miami, Florida on April 15, 2021 Pfizer vaccines being prepared for injection at the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center in Miami, Florida on April 15, 2021 Photo: AFP / CHANDAN KHANNA