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Pfizer Reaps Hundreds of Millions in Profits From Covid Vaccine

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Several factors explain the inequality in Pfizer’s vaccine distribution.

The shot, which must be stored and transported at very low temperatures, is less practical for hard-to-reach parts of the world than other shots such as those from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson that can simply be refrigerated. Some poor countries were not hit badly by the virus initially, so their governments had less urgency to place orders for the Pfizer vaccine as far as they could afford to pay for the shots.

“Not everyone was interested in the vaccine or willing to take steps. As a result, talks will continue, including working with Covax beyond the original 40 million cans, ”said Ms. Castillo, Pfizer spokeswoman.

In India, where the virus is spiraling out of control, the Pfizer vaccine is not used. The company applied for an emergency permit there, but withdrew the application in February because the Indian Medicines Agency was unwilling to waive the requirement to conduct a local clinical trial. At the time, India’s coronavirus case numbers were manageable and vaccines made locally were considered sufficient.

Pfizer and the Government of India have since resumed talks. On Monday, Mr Bourla said the company would donate more than $ 70 million worth of drugs to India and is trying to expedite vaccine approval.

Pfizer has made public promises to run its business not only for the enrichment of shareholders but also for the betterment of society.

Mr. Bourla, who earned $ 21 million last year, was among the 181 leaders of large companies who signed a 2019 Business Roundtable pledge to focus on a range of “stakeholders” including workers, suppliers and local communities – not just investors.

The financial numbers Pfizer reported Tuesday underestimate how much money the vaccine will generate. Pfizer is splitting its vaccine sales with BioNTech, which will publish its own first quarter results next week. BioNTech announced in March that it had achieved sales of nearly 10 billion euros, or around 11.8 billion US dollars, based on the vaccine orders it had ordered at the time.

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Robert Dunfee