Pfizer cuts 200 jobs at COVID drug, vaccine plant in Michigan amid $3.5B savings campaign

Pfizer’s plunging COVID-19 product demand has spurred a companywide cost-cutting campaign, with nearly 200 jobs now on the chopping block in Michigan.

The New York drug giant is cutting roughly 200 positions at its Kalamazoo, Michigan, site following a review of demand for its COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty and antiviral Paxlovid, a spokesperson said Friday.

Pfizer blamed the job cuts on “lower-than-expected utilization for COVID-19 products." The company “does not take these changes lightly," the Pfizer representative added.

“All decisions that impact people, processes and initiatives will be made with transparency, compassion and respect,” Pfizer’s spokesperson said over email. “We also remain committed to our patients and will continue to produce the COVID-19 vaccine to meet demand."

The move comes after the Big Pharma unveiled a COVID cost-cutting campaign designed to achieve $3.5 billion in savings by the end of 2024.  

Earlier this month, Pfizer slashed its 2023 revenue projection by $9 million, which the company blamed on a $7 billion decrease in its projection for sales of oral antiviral Paxlovid plus a $2 billion cut for its BioNTech-partnered COVID vaccine Comirnaty.

Meanwhile, Pfizer recently confirmed plans to shutter its Peapack, New Jersey, facility in early 2024. Of the roughly 791 positions affected, the "vast majority" of workers will be reassigned to Pfizer's New York headquarters, a company spokesperson said earlier this week.

The latest move in Kalamazoo comes after Pfizer threw down $750 million to upgrade that site late in 2022.

Aside from coronavirus vaccines, Pfizer also uses its Kalamazoo plant to make its oral COVID antiviral Paxlovid. As part of a production push for the med, Pfizer last summer said it would create hundreds of “highly skilled” jobs at the site, which is among the company’s largest.

In June 2022, the company formally unveiled a $120 million investment at the Kalamazoo campus alongside plans to create 250 new jobs, with the aim to bolster production of Paxlovid.