The vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, had sales of $ 275 million from approximately 68 million doses administered in the first three months of this year, AstraZeneca reported on Friday.
AstraZeneca announced the figure, largely from sales in Europe, when it reported its financial results for the first quarter. It offers the clearest overview yet of how much money is being made by one of the leading Covid vaccines.
AstraZeneca, which has pledged not to benefit from its vaccine during the pandemic, sold the shot to governments for several dollars a dose, which is cheaper than the other leading vaccines. The vaccine has been approved in at least 78 countries since December but is not approved in the United States.
The vaccine accounted for nearly 4 percent of AstraZeneca’s sales for the quarter. It was nowhere near the company’s biggest sales driver. By comparison, the company’s best-selling cancer drug Tagrisso had sales of more than $ 1.1 billion for the quarter.
AstraZeneca has announced that it will seek emergency approval to use its vaccine in the US, even though it has become clear that the doses are not needed. The Biden government announced this week that it will be making up to 60 million doses of its range of AstraZeneca shots available to the rest of the world pending a quality review.
If the company gets approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it could help build confidence in a vaccine whose reputation has been marred by concerns about a rare but serious clotting side effect. The FDA’s assessment process is considered the gold standard worldwide.
Johnson & Johnson, whose emergency vaccine was approved in late February, reported last week that its vaccine had sales of $ 100 million in the United States for the first three months of the year. The federal government pays the company $ 10 per dose. Like AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson is committed to selling its vaccine “at cost” during the pandemic – meaning it will not benefit from sales.
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines cost more, and neither company has announced that it will forego profits. Pfizer expects the vaccine to generate sales of around $ 15 billion this year. Moderna expects sales of 18.4 billion US dollars.
Both companies are expected to publish their first quarter results next week.