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New Covid-19 Vaccinations Slow to a Trickle

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Katharina Buchholz

Pharma company Pfizer, makers of popular Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty, reported their Q1 financials yesterday. While the company exceeded expectations, there is nevertheless a big chunk of revenue missing in this quarter’s report compared to the same time last year. Total revenue was down 29 percent since Q1 of 2022.

This change is closely related to the number of Covid-19 vaccines given out globally. Numbers from Our World in Data show that new vaccinations around the world have slowed to a trickle. While in mid-2021, an average of as many as 38 million doses were given out each day, this had decreased to between 500,000 to one million daily doses most recently.

Interestingly, booster shots have generally not overtaken initial protocol immunizations, instead staying far behind them in 2023 after having been the most common type of Covid-19 vaccination for a short while in mid-2022. Booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been available in many developed countries – which is where most coronavirus vaccines were given out in general - and have continued to be recommended at least for older people. However, uptake has been far from universal. For example, while close to 70 percent of the U.S. population had received a full initial immunization against Covid-19 most recently, only around 17 percent had received a booster. The numbers were 94 percent and 43 percent for those over the age of 65, respectively.

The number of Covid-19 booster shots might increase once more if an annual vaccination against the disease would be recommended. In the United States, the FDA in January voted in favor of such a regimen that would work similar to the annual flu shot and could potentially start to be given out this fall. More than one annual shot could still be recommended for older or immunocompromised people.

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