Empty Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine vials will be delivered on Jan.

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Pfizer on Wednesday said it sold $ 7.8 billion in Covid-19 vaccines in the second quarter and raised its sales forecast for the vaccine from $ 26 billion to $ 33.5 billion in 2021 as it rose the delta variant is spreading and scientists are debating whether people need booster injections.

The company’s financial results for the second quarter also exceeded Wall Street’s expectations for earnings and sales. According to Refinitiv’s average estimates, Pfizer has outperformed Wall Street expectations as follows:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: $ 1.07 per share versus 97 cents per share expected
  • Revenue: $ 18.98 billion versus $ 18.74 billion forecast

Pfizer expects adjusted profit before tax for the vaccine in the high 20 percent range of sales.

The company now expects full year earnings of $ 3.95 to $ 4.05 per share. That’s an increase from its previous range of $ 3.55 to $ 3.65 per share. The company expects sales of $ 78 billion to $ 80 billion, up from its previous estimate of $ 70.5 billion to $ 72.5 billion.

Pfizer shares were down 0.4% in pre-trading hours.

“The second quarter was remarkable in many ways,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO. “In particular, the speed and efficiency of our efforts with BioNTech to vaccinate the world against COVID-19 have been unprecedented, with more than a billion doses of BNT162b2 administered worldwide.”

Pfizer’s other businesses also saw strong sales growth. Revenue for the oncology unit increased 19% year over year to $ 3.1 billion. The company’s hospital division had sales of $ 2.2 billion, up 21% from the previous year. The internal medicine department grew 5% year over year to $ 2.4 billion.

Pfizer said earlier this month it was seeing signs of waning immunity induced by its Covid vaccine at German drug maker BioNTech and planned to ask the Food and Drug Administration to approve a booster dose. It also said it was developing a booster shot to target the Delta variant.

During Pfizer’s conference call Wednesday, executives said they continued to believe that people will need a third dose of the vaccine to maintain high levels of protection against the virus.

On slides released along with the findings report on Wednesday, Pfizer said it could potentially apply to the FDA for emergency approval for a booster dose as early as August. Clinical trials are expected to begin testing the Delta variant vaccine in the same month.

“We are in ongoing discussions with regulators about a possible booster of the third dose of the current vaccine and, if the results are positive, expect an emergency approval as early as August,” said Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer to investors.

It expects its two-dose vaccine to be fully approved by January 2022.

On the conference call, Bourla said it was “too early” to discuss the outlook for 2022 but noted that the company had vaccine agreements with several countries.