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US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has bumped up its sales forecast for 2021 from $26 billion (€22.03 billion) to $33.5 billion (€28.38 billion), as the more-transmissible Delta variant continues to wreak havoc and as scientists discuss the need for a booster shot of the vaccine.

Pfizer made the more optimistic predictions as part of its Q2 financial report in which it revealed a quarter even more successful than was expected in terms of both earnings and revenue, with vaccine sales helping it nearly double its sales in the quarter.

It said it sold $7.8 billion (€6.61 billion) in COVID shots during the period.

In a press release accompanying the financial figures, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said: “Most visibly, the speed and efficiency of our efforts with BioNTech to help vaccinate the world against COVID have been unprecedented, with now more than a billion doses [of the vaccine] having been delivered globally”.

In a presentation, the company stated that emerging real-world data “suggests immunity against infection and symptomatic disease may wane”, emphasising the need for possible booster doses to maintain protection.

Pfizer added that regulators would decide “whether, and which, populations to recommend booster”, but that it would likely first focus on those with compromised immune systems and on older adults.

Additionally, a surge in COVID cases across the world sparked by the proliferation of the more spreadable Delta variant has raised concerns. Pfizer has said it is currently developing a new version of the vaccine, specifically targeting the variant.

The US conglomerate, along with Germany’s BioNTech, produces one of the most widely used COVID vaccines across the world and said it expects to deliver 2.1 billion doses of the vaccine this year.

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Pfizer/ BioNTech

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