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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

May 4, 2021 - Health

Reports: FDA expected to authorize Pfizer for adolescents by next week

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds by next week, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Opening up vaccine eligibility to young people and children will be crucial as the U.S. works to achieve herd immunity.

May 4, 2021 - Health

Report: CVS and Walgreens have wasted over 128,000 COVID doses

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

CVS and Walgreens, two pharmacy chains that have worked with the federal government to administer COVID-19 vaccines, wasted more doses than most states combined, per government data obtained by Kaiser Health News.

Why it matters: The wasted doses raise questions about the efficacy of the vaccine rollout, especially now as the U.S. starts sending extra doses to India and other COVID-stricken countries.

Dave Lawler, author of World
May 3, 2021 - World

Pandemic's global toll rises even as rich world starts to move on

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

We seem to have arrived at a fork in the pandemic: Pockets of the rich world are beginning to move past COVID-19, while some less-fortunate countries are facing greater danger than ever.

Consider this: The World Health Organization said today that more cases had been recorded globally over the last two weeks than in the first six months of the pandemic, driven largely by an unprecedented surge in India and the ongoing onslaught in Brazil.

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