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Pfizer Inc. raised its full-year forecast for sales of its Covid-19 vaccine to about $33.5 billion, a nearly 30% increase, helping lift the pharmaceutical giant’s overall estimates for its sales and profits in 2021.

In the latest quarter, the vaccine contributed $7.8 billion to Pfizer’s total sales of $18.98 billion. That boost fueled the company’s 92% year-over-year revenue gain, as did stronger sales of other Pfizer drugs and vaccines amid greater healthcare demand this year.

Pfizer posted an adjusted profit of $1.07 a share for the three months through June. Wall Street analysts had been forecasting an adjusted profit of 97 cents a share on sales of $18.71 billion. Shares were roughly flat in premarket trading.

Pfizer’s vaccine results reflected the company’s central role in the global campaign against Covid-19, even as vaccination rates plateau in some countries and a new strain of the virus is renewing concerns about the course of the pandemic.

Of the roughly 163 million fully vaccinated Americans, more than half have received the vaccine co-developed by Pfizer and BioNTech SE, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Most other vaccinated Americans have gotten Moderna Inc.’s two-dose regimen, while a smaller share have taken Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine.

As the vaccines reached more Americans in the first half of the year, new coronavirus cases and deaths fell sharply from the peak reached last winter. More recently, case counts have risen again as the coronavirus’s Delta variant has become the predominant strain in the U.S. Last week, data from an Israeli study suggested that the Delta variant has reduced the Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy at preventing infection there, although it continued to give robust protection against serious illness.

The recent rise in cases has led U.S. policy makers to consider additional public-health precautions. New CDC guidance this week recommended that vaccinated people resume wearing masks in many parts of the country and universally in schools. It has also fueled discussion of whether fully vaccinated people will need booster shots.

Pfizer’s quarterly sales also improved in other business lines, in part reflecting Americans’ return to non-Covid-19 healthcare visits this year. Oncology sales grew 19% to $3.15 billion, while internal-medicine sales were 5% higher at $2.4 billion. Revenue from Prevnar 13, a vaccine for pneumococcal disease, rose 34% year over year amid a higher level of children’s wellness visits to doctors.

Since a year ago, Pfizer has narrowed down its focus on new-drug development through its spinoff of Upjohn last November. Upjohn was the company’s arm for generic and off-patent drugs.

Pfizer raised its full-year financial guidance, estimating that it will record sales of $78 billion to $80 billion and an adjusted profit of $3.95 a share to $4.05 a share after stripping out one-time items. Previously, the company had been forecasting sales of $70.5 billion to $72.5 billion and adjusted earnings of $3.55 a share to $3.65 a share.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text

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