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Covid vaccine manufacturers were the fastest growing pharmaceutical companies over the first three months of this year, data has revealed.
Moderna led the pack with its revenue surging 221 percent in a year to $6.1billion, followed by BioNTech where they ticked up 200 percent to $6.4 and Pfizer which recorded a 77 percent swell in revenue to $25.7.
AstraZeneca — which had its vaccine approved in other countries, but not the U.S. — saw the fourth biggest growth in revenue by 56 percent to $11.4.
Campaigners and charities accused the companies of ‘shameless pandemic profiteering’, and said it was ‘appalling’ that a small number of companies had made ‘obscene amounts of money’.
About six in ten people globally have now received two doses, according to figures from OurWorldInData, although in Africa this drops to two in ten.
Plentiful vaccine supplies are now available worldwide, but officials in developing countries say many people are turning them down because they don’t see the virus as a threat and are skeptical of the jabs.
The above graph shows the percentage change in revenues among the 23 biggest pharmaceutical companies
This shows the proportion of people that are double-jabbed in the world (green line) and the different continents. Africa lags behind with less than two in ten having got two vaccines
Pfizer and Moderna set to make $51 BILLION this year from jabs
Pfizer and Moderna are expecting to bring in a total of $51 billion in vaccine sales this year, earnings statements show.
Pfizer expects to lead the way, with $32 billion in expected sales.
Moderna projecting $19 billion in revenue from its Covid shots.
Almost all of these sales are coming from the developed world, with major nations like the U.S., the UK, Germany and others having surplus of vaccines.
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in February that his company believes another Covid booster shot will also be needed come fall, which should only add to the company’s revenue projections going forward.
‘We believe there’s a high probability that we’re moving into an endemic setting,’ Bancel told CNBC’s Squawk Box in February.
‘We should still be cautious because as we’ve seen with Delta, which came after alpha and was more virulent, [it] is always possible to get the more virulent variant of course.’
Maaza Seyoum, the global south convenor of the People’s Vaccine Alliance — a campaign group calling for equitable access to Covid jabs worldwide — told DailyMail.com: ‘Big pharma companies have grown their businesses through shameless pandemic profiteering.
‘At the height of the crisis, they sold these lifesaving tools to the highest bidder while people were left to die in the global south.
‘And they locked the technology behind a wall of intellectual property rules, refusing to share the recipes with the world.’
A spokesman for Oxfam — a global charity fighting poverty — told DailyMail.com: ‘Two years into the pandemic, and a year after the introduction of Covid vaccines, it is appalling that a small number of corporations are taking advantage to make obscene amounts of money.
‘We have allowed these Pharma companies monopoly control over the lifesaving technology we all need — they control the number of doses they produce, where they are sold, and at what price.
‘They are choosing to prioritize private profits over public health by selling the vast majority of their medicines to rich countries, leaving only table scraps for the world’s poor.
‘Meanwhile, the failure to vaccinate the world not only continues the suffering but also allows new variants to arise and circulate, endangering us all.’
DailyMail.com reviewed the total revenues reported by the 23 major pharmaceutical giants for January to March 2021 and 2022.
The biggest surges in growth were recorded among companies that were behind Covid vaccines.
But just a five percent uptick was seen for Johnson and Johnson, whose one-dose Covid vaccine is not the preferred option in the United States. It is only available to over-18s who can’t have Moderna or Pfizer’s jab from this month.
Only two giants — Viatris and Biogen — saw their revenue fall over the period.
Neither have developed a Covid treatment, but New York-based Viatris is manufacturing Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill under an agreement.
Listing companies by revenue size shows the top two are Covid vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson at $23.4 billion.
They are followed by Roche — which developed an antibody treatment for Covid among others — at $17.2 billion, and Merck — behind Covid antiviral molnupiravir — at $15.9.
The above shows the number of vaccines distributed (right) and administered (left) across the U.S. since the jabs first became available
Booster shots were also being dished out in many nations, although globally less than 25 percent of people have received the top-up jab
Covid vaccines proved to be lucrative business early in the pandemic, with countries prepared to pay over the odds to secure doses.
Countries initially rolled out two doses but last winter many offered booster shots to shore-up antibody levels.
The U.S. is now one of a handful offering second boosters to all over-50s.
There are mounting signs that it could roll out yet another vaccine shot to the rest of the country this autumn ahead of winter, when Covid spreads more.
Pfizer’s vaccines were sold for as much as $19.50 a dose to the U.S. at the start of the pandemic, reports the BMJ. But Israel admitted it was paying $23.50 a dose to gain early access, while the European Union managed to secure jabs for $15.50 each.
The U.S. Government helped develop the Moderna jab allowing it to secure jabs for a discounted $15 each. For comparison, the EU paid $18 per shot.
Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot jab was sold at about $10 per dose on a not-for-profit basis.
A total of 432 million Pfizer jabs have been distributed in the U.S. to date, while some 274million Moderna doses have been dished out. For the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, a total of 30million jabs were distributed.
Explaining why Covid jab uptake was low in Africa Rahab Mwaniki, the PVA’s Africa co-ordinator, said it was a ‘big ask’ to ask people there to get the jabs when cases on the continent were low.
‘Many people say, “you didn’t help us”,’ he told Reuters. ‘They feel like the West never really supported them.’
DailyMail.com contacted Moderna, Pfizer, BioNTech and AstraZeneca for comment.