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Johnson & Johnson raises forecasts, estimates $2.5 billion in COVID-19 vaccine sales

The J&J shot, once touted as an important tool for vaccinations in hard-to-reach areas, has already delayed deliveries in the United States and Europe.

July 22, 2021 / 01:13 PM IST
File image of J&J COVID-19 vaccine

File image of J&J COVID-19 vaccine

Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday raised its overall revenue estimate for the year and forecast $2.5 billion in sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, which has fallen way behind rival shots from Pfizer and Moderna as the company deals with vaccine production issues and safety concerns.

Although Johnson & Johnson's shot was approved in the United States months after vaccines from Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc, its vaccine outlook pales in comparison with its peers and reflects the widening gap in the vaccine race.

Pfizer and Moderna forecast $26 billion and $19.2 billion in annual sales of their vaccines, respectively.

The J&J shot, once touted as an important tool for vaccinations in hard-to-reach areas, has already delayed deliveries in the United States and Europe. It has also been linked to a very rare, potentially life-threatening blood-clotting condition.

J&J raised its expectations for full-year sales to a range of $93.8 billion to $94.6 billion including contribution from the single-dose vaccine, and to $91.3 billion-$92.1 billion for the rest of the business.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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It had previously forecast sales to come in between $90.6 billion and $91.6 billion.

The outlook was driven by recovery in sales at its medical devices unit and higher demand for treatments such as psoriasis and Crohn's disease drug Stelara.

The company had recorded $164 million in vaccine sales in for the second quarter.

Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc have forecast $26 billion and $19.2 billion in annual sales of their vaccines, respectively. Both shots were approved in the United States last year, while J&J's vaccine was approved this year.

Both companies expect to profit from their vaccines, while Johnson & Johnson has said it will make the vaccine available on a not-for-profit basis during the pandemic.

In the second quarter, J&J earned $2.48 per share, beating analysts' average estimate of $2.27 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company reported $23.31 billion in total sales, above the estimate of $22.21 billion.

Shares of the company rose 1% before the opening bell.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.

 
Reuters
first published: Jul 21, 2021 05:14 pm

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