CVS Says Covid-19 Vaccinations Slow -- 2nd Update
By Sharon Terlep
CVS Health Corp. said demand for Covid-19 vaccinations has
fallen by about 30% recently as Americans' hesitancy to receive the
shots outweighs expanding eligibility and access.
The pharmacy chain has administered more than 17 million shots,
which are now available at more than 8,300 U.S. locations. Like
rivals, CVS has begun offering same-day appointments for injections
in a bid to improve uptake.
In the early months of the U.S. vaccine rollout, restrictions on
who could receive a vaccine and short supply of doses prevented
many people from getting shots. Now, many parts of the country are
reporting excess doses and unfilled appointments even as less than
60% of American adults have received at least one dose.
Anyone 16 or older is eligible for a vaccine in the U.S., a
change from the months in which only certain groups of people could
get a shot.
Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE last month asked U.S. health
regulators to allow their Covid-19 vaccine to be given to
adolescents to extend their shot's use to children 12 years and
On Tuesday, Pfizer reported a surge in first-quarter revenue and
said it expects the vaccine to generate $26 billion in sales this
year. It had previously forecast $15 billion in sales from the
CVS Health said Tuesday it now expects Covid-19 vaccines to
contribute about 2% to the company's prescription volume growth
this year, on the low end of initial projections of 2% to 3%.
CVS Health Chief Executive Karen Lynch said Covid-19
vaccinations and testing are bolstering the company's business,
helping make up for a weak flu and cold season. On a conference
call, Ms. Lynch said that in April "vaccinated customers are more
actively shopping in CVS locations." For customers new to the
company through Covid-19 testing, she said the company is seeing
around 9% filling a new prescription at a CVS pharmacy.
The company said revenue in the segment that fulfills medication
prescriptions and sells general products rose 2.3% to $23.27
billion in the first quarter, driven by higher Covid-19 testing and
vaccinations. Partly offsetting the gains was lower front-store
The company posted first-quarter revenue of $69.1 billion, up
3.5%. Same-store sales, or those at retail pharmacy stores that had
been operating for more than one year, rose 0.4%.
CVS, along with rival Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., supermarket
chain Kroger Co. and Walmart Inc. have been pushing to get
consumers to visit their locations to receive vaccines. The daily
number of new Covid-19 cases have been declining and governors
across the U.S. are now rolling back restrictions implemented
during the pandemic.
Net income totaled $2.22 billion for the first quarter at CVS,
up from $2 billion in the same period last year. Adjusted earnings
were $2.04 a share, ahead of Wall Street estimates.
Anna Wilde Matthews and Dave Sebastian contributed to this
Write to Sharon Terlep at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 04, 2021 10:11 ET (14:11 GMT)
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