Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna made large profits from their COVID-19 vaccine sales in 2021: approximately $9 billion, $14.7 billion and $10.5 billion in pretax profits, respectively. The estimates were provided by People's Vaccine Alliance, an advocacy group working to broaden access to the vaccines. The group based the full-year numbers on published results for the first three quarters of the year and other statements by the companies.
The alliance attributes the vaccine manufacturers' high profit margins to the overpricing of vaccines. Its analysis estimated that Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna are charging governments "as much as $41 billion" more for vaccines than their estimated production costs.
These companies have also received criticism for under-distributing COVID-19 vaccines to low-income countries. Each sends less than 1% of its vaccines to underdeveloped regions, despite having received $8 billion in public funding for vaccine development.