Blue-chip pharma company Pfizer Inc. (PFE) hopes to obtain U.S. approval next month for a third booster shot as the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread worldwide, according to Reuters. Shares closed marginally lower at $39.25 on July 8. (See Pfizer stock charts on TipRanks)
Mikael Dolsten, the company’s Chief Scientific Officer, said the vaccine’s effectiveness tends to decline after six months as antibodies begin to wane.
Hence, Pfizer suggests administering a third shot since a recent study showed promising signs against the virus with a five-to-ten-fold increase in antibody levels following a booster dose.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have told fully-vaccinated Americans that they do not yet need a booster shot.
Scientists and authorities believe that the vaccine is still effective in fully vaccinated people who show mild symptoms after contracting the delta variant.
Initiating a third dose currently would mean inflating demand for the vaccine, while many parts of the U.S. and around the world remain unvaccinated due to production constraints.
Dolsten said that Pfizer is aiming for the production of 3 billion vaccines this year, and 4 billion next year. Pfizer expects to earn $26 billion in revenue from the sale of vaccines in 2021.
Pfizer is scheduled to report its Q2 FY21 results on July 28. The Street expects Pfizer to report earnings of $0.99 per share on revenue of $18.42 billion.
Last month, RBC Capital analyst Daniel Busby reiterated a Hold rating on the stock while lifting the price target to $44 (12.1% upside potential) from $43.
The stock has an overall Hold consensus rating based on 1 Buy, 9 Holds, and 1 Sell. The average Pfizer price target of $43.22 implies 10.1% upside potential to current levels. Shares have gained 23.8% over the past year.
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