Covid vaccine makers shift focus to booster shots

Credit: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Health professional prepares dose of Moderna vaccine against Covid-19 for application in Zurich (Credit: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)

By Michael Erman and Manas Mishra

(Reuters) – Covid-19 vaccine makers are shifting focus and planning a smaller, more competitive market for booster vaccines after delivering as many doses as quickly as possible over the past 18 months.

Executives at the biggest Covid vaccine makers, including Pfizer and Moderna, said they believed most people who wanted to be vaccinated against the disease had already done so — more than 5 billion people worldwide.

In the coming year, most Covid vaccines will be booster shots, or first immunizations for children, which are still receiving regulatory approvals around the world, they said.

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Pfizer, which makes its vaccine with Germany’s BioNTech, and Moderna still see an important role for themselves in the market, even as overall demand declines.

US vaccine maker Novavax and Germany’s CureVac, which is working with GlaxoSmithKline, are developing vaccines they hope to hit the booster market.

The holdings of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, whose injections have been less popular or effective, are expected to decline in this market.

“It becomes a very competitive game with companies fighting for price and market share, even for vaccines considered to be better, like Pfizer and Moderna,” said Hartaj Singh, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co.

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