Covid Windfall Contributes to Record Earnings for Pfizer in 2022

Last year is likely to be the last blockbuster year for Covid vaccine and drug sales for the pharmaceutical giant.

AP/Mark Lennihan
The Pfizer headquarters at New York. AP/Mark Lennihan

In a record-shattering year, Pfizer made more than $100 billion in revenue in 2022 — more than half of which was driven by Covid-related products, the company announced Tuesday.

It was the first time in the company’s 174-year history that the company exceeded $100 billion in revenue. Just a few years ago, pre-pandemic in 2019, the company’s annual revenue stood at $40.9 billion — less than half its earnings this year.

Pfizer made $57 billion from the combined sales of its Covid vaccine and antiviral pill, Paxlovid, in 2022 — more than the total sales revenue of Pfizer in 2019. The vaccine generated $37.8 billion, while Paxlovid raked in $18.9 billion for the pharmaceutical giant.

The company’s revenue skyrocketed from 2020, when it brought in $41.7 billion, to $81.3 billion in 2021 — when the vaccine first became widely available to the American public.

In 2023, executives said, 144 million doses of Covid vaccines were administered. Just under two-thirds of the doses were shots of Pfizer’s vaccine.

Last year, however, is likely the last blockbuster year for Covid vaccine and drug sales, which are expected to fall in 2023. Combined revenue for Paxlovid and the vaccine are only expected to reach about $21 billion in 2023, the company said.

“We expect 2023 to be a transition year in the U.S.,” the company’s CEO, Albert Bourla, said.

In the past few years, because of the Covid public health emergency mandate, the American government purchased large quantities of the vaccine that went unused — inflating sales.

The emergency mandate is expected to end sometime in the next few months, which will shift the way the vaccine is sold.

In addition to administering fewer vaccines, the vaccine will be on the commercial market without government administration in the second half of 2023.

“We expect that in years 2024 and beyond, the doses sold and used will more closely align together and the commercial price to remain relatively stable with only inflation-like price increases,” Mr. Bourla said.


Ms. Raskin is a staff reporter at the New York Sun. Originally from Washington DC, she lives in Lower Manhattan.

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