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Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine generated $3.5 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2021, which was nearly a fourth of the company's $14.6 billion income during the period, the pharmaceutical giant reported in an earnings call Tuesday.

Why it matters: The vaccine was the biggest source of revenue for Pfizer — which, unlike some of its competitors — elected to collect the profit from sales of its vaccine, the New York Times notes.

  • Pfizer's operational revenues grew by 8% in the first few months of the year.
  • Also unlike some of its competitors, the company did not to take federal funds from the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed.

The big picture: Pfizer's vaccine "is disproportionately reaching the world’s rich" the New York Times reports, citing broad figures from the World Health Organization.

  • Vaccines produced by China, India and Russia have become the primary source of doses delivered to poorer nations.
  • Pfizer announced Tuesday it has shipped 430 million doses of the vaccine to 91 countries and territories around the world, though it did not specify how much have gone to developing nations.

Go deeper

FDA set to authorize third COVID vaccine dose for immunocompromised people

A health care worker fills a syringe with Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a community vaccination event in Los Angeles. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration will update its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines as early as Thursday to allow immunocompromised people to get a third dose, a source familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: Data suggest that people with weakened immune systems don't generate strong enough levels of protection against the virus with just two doses, but a third dose could significantly help.

Aug 12, 2021 - World

New Zealand to gradually reopen to the world next year

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a July press conference in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced plans Thursday to reopen the country's borders in 2022 while maintaining a COVID-19 elimination strategy — with vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries not required to quarantine.

Why it matters: New Zealand has some of the lowest coronavirus rates in the world, reporting fewer than 2,900 infections and 26 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began. It's detected no community cases for 166 days, containing COVID-19 to managed quarantine facilities.

Education secretary says he would support vaccine mandate for teachers

Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said Wednesday he would "favor the vaccine being required" for teachers and other staff, as schools across the country prepare to welcome students this fall.

Why it matters: It comes as the U.S. experiences a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, due in large part to the highly contagious Delta variant, and as hospitals sounds the alarm about an increasing number of kids landing in the hospital after contracting the virus.

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