Drugmaker Pfizer said Tuesday it earned $3.5 billion from sales of its COVID-19 vaccine in the first three months of 2021, and plans to ask federal regulators for full approval of the shot by the end of this month.
The vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, received emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration in December. Full approval and licensing from the FDA would allow the companies to market the BNT162b2 vaccine directly to customers.
“I am extremely proud of the way we have begun 2021,” Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said in a statement.
Bourla said the company achieving regulatory goals like expanding vaccine use to include younger recipients and receiving approval in more countries will help patients overcome the coronavirus disease.
Overall, Pfizer reported total revenue of more than $14 billion in the first quarter — a sizable increase over the same period in 2020 ($10.8 billion).
Pfizer said last month that emerging COVID-19 variants may create the need for a second booster shot sometime this year.
The company began studying the safety and effectiveness of a third shot in February, given 6 to 12 months after the second shot, it said Tuesday.
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, the other two vaccines approved for use in the United States, have indicated that they may also produce an additional shot.
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