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Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Abbott on Tuesday cut its profit guidance for the rest of this year after the medical device and diagnostics company projected lower demand for its coronavirus tests. Abbott's stock plunged 9%.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases have dropped heavily in the U.S. and other high-income countries due to mass vaccination campaigns. That's good for society, but now means less money for Abbott and other test makers that have profited from the pandemic's testing.

By the numbers: Abbott originally expected 2021 earnings per share to be "at least" $3.74 per share, but lowered that to $2.75 to $2.95, implying a hit of roughly $1.6 billion. COVID-19 test revenue was projected to be $6.5 billion throughout 2021, but is now anticipated to be between $4 billion and $4.5 billion.

  • "While we've always said the demand for COVID testing sales would eventually work its way to a flu-like level, we couldn't have anticipated what has occurred over the past several weeks," Abbott CEO Robert Ford told investors Tuesday.
  • Aside from the rising vaccination rates, Ford also mentioned guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said fully vaccinated people with no COVID-19 symptoms don't need to get tested, even if they were exposed to someone with the virus.

The bottom line: Abbott is still an extremely profitable company. But it's benefiting less as the COVID-19 testing surge wanes.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Sep 8, 2021 - Health

Who's most at risk in Colorado for COVID-19 breakthrough cases

Expand chart
Data: CDPHE; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

The number of positive COVID-19 cases among vaccinated people continues to hit new highs in Colorado, driven by the proliferation of the Delta variant.

Threat level: The risk varies depending on age and the type of vaccine received, Colorado public health officials said Wednesday.

Sep 7, 2021 - Health

Fauci slams DeSantis over "completely incorrect" COVID vaccine comment

Photos: Stefani Reynolds-Pool and Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci in an interview with CNN Tuesday pushed back on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' (R) claim last week that getting the COVID vaccine should be a personal choice that "really doesn't impact me or anyone else."

What he's saying: "When you're dealing with an outbreak of an infectious disease, it isn't only about you," said the nation's top infectious diseases expert. "There's a societal responsibility that we all have."

Updated Sep 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key FDA committee takes on the big booster question — Los Angeles County to require vaccination proof at indoor bars — France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers without pay.
  2. Health: Worsening crisis at Rikers Island jail spurs call for action — 1 in 500 Americans has died — Cases are falling, but deaths are rising.
  3. Politics: White House invites call with Nicki Minaj to discuss vaccine — Gottlieb says CDC hampered U.S. response — 26 states have limited state or local officials' public health powers.
  4. Education: Denver looks to students to close Latino vaccination gap — Federal judge temporarily blocks Iowa's ban on mask mandates in schools — Massachusetts activates National Guard to help with school transportation.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.