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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 - Axios Denver

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 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker