Inching forward towards an updated COVID-19 vaccine in the fall season.
The CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, stated this week that the Food and Drug Administration could approve his company’s new vaccine by the end of the month, ahead of a potential fall and wintertime coronavirus outbreak.
Initially, federal officials had proposed September for the release of the fall COVID-19 vaccine, which has been updated to combat the omicron subvariant XBB.1.5. However, this date has been pushed back to October. However, the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told NPR this week that the vaccinations will be available “probably in the early October timeframe.”
In anticipation of a potential fall and winter coronavirus outbreak, experts anticipate that a fall vaccination campaign will increase protection against the virus. Moderna and Novavax are additionally working on updated COVID-19 injections for this timeline. Insurance will cover the costs of the shots for the majority of Americans, while the Biden administration plans to initiate a program in fall to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments to uninsured and underinsured Americans.
It is unknown which populations federal officials will target with the updated shot, but adoption could be an issue given that as of May, only 17% of Americans had received the most recent doses.
Pfizer Faces Revenue Risk from Low Adoption Rates
Pfizer’s revenue could also be at risk due to low adoption.
During the pandemic, the company’s profits skyrocketed as a result of COVID-19 injections and the antiviral Paxlovid, but as coronavirus metrics dropped to record lows, the company’s sales decreased. Officials from Pfizer stated on Tuesday that they would need to implement a cost-cutting program if their coronavirus products continue to perform poorly.
However, there are reasons to believe that this time around, vaccination rates will be higher. More than half of adults, according to a KFF survey, are likely to get another COVID-19 booster injection if it is offered annually like the flu vaccination.
In addition, COVID-19 hospitalizations increased for the second week in a succession after declining for several months. If the trend continues, more Americans may become aware of a potential coronavirus outbreak, likely increasing their willingness to receive another vaccination.
Source: US News