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Cashing COVID-19 Vaccine - AstraZeneca Or Pfizer

Cashing COVID-19 Vaccine - AstraZeneca Or Pfizer

Today AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ: AZN) released its second-quarter earnings with updated sales numbers for its COVID-19 vaccine; when compared to the big mRNA players, the numbers looked rather pale.

Q2 Sales Numbers: AstraZeneca's COVID-19 jab clocked in about $1.17 billion globally in the first half, including $894 million in the second quarter alone

Pfizer Inc's (NYSE: PFE) vaccine sales have soared with $3.5 billion in Q1 and another $7.8 billion in the second quarterModerna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA), which is slated to report its second-quarter results next week, bagged $1.7 billion in COVID-19 vaccine sales in Q1.

Pfizer's sales jump has encouraged it to raise full-year projections to $33.5 billion, up from $26 billion in May and $15 billion in February. 

Let's Compare the Prices: Last week, when the U.S. called for additional 200 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, it paid about $24/dose, up from the $19.50 in its earlier deals to supply. However, AstraZeneca is selling its vaccines at cost to low- and middle-income countries, which is a potential basis for the Company to decline to disclose full-year projections for its shot. 

In one example, AZN sold its shots to South Africa at $5.25 per dose, while Pfizer charged about $10 per dose. Albert Bourla wrote in a letter to employees, some lower-income countries didn't even bother ordering or authorizing the Pfizer vaccine at all, with the majority reserved by high-income nations.

Additionally, AstraZeneca's vaccine is still not authorized in the U.S. following safety issues and a dispute over efficacy data. But CEO Pascal Soriot appears to have gotten the ball rolling outside the U.S. in recent months. 

Recent real-world data from Canada showed similar levels in reducing severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths to the mRNA shots. Also, a person's risk of blood clots does not increase after the second AZN COVID-19 vaccine shot.

AstraZeneca confirmed in its earnings call that it would be seeking a full FDA approval for its vaccine in the U.S. rather than shoot for an emergency use authorization. 

Soriot also took a contrasting position with Bourla on booster shots, telling a CNBC Europe, the Company did not have a "precise answer" on whether a booster would be required.

Price Action: AZN shares are up 1.50% at press time, while PFE shares are down 1.55% on Thursday.

Photo by Johaehn from Pixabay


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