Coming COVID-19 vaccination wave will generate $20B in sales next year: analyst

Five COVID-19 vaccine developers are gearing up for late-stage testing. (Getty Images)

With leading COVID-19 vaccines moving into late-stage testing and rollouts possible in late 2020 or early 2021, analysts are starting to make predictions about what the market will look like—including Bernstein's Ronny Gal, who's projecting some big 2021 numbers.

In all, Gal predicts the market will be worth $20 billion next year. After 2021, it’s “hard to model” because little is known yet about the vaccine candidates, he wrote in a note to clients. The analyst predicts “six players” will compete in the field for years, with the market eventually dwindling down to down to $5 billion to $6 billion per year. 

RELATED: Pfizer could earn $15B-plus in COVID-19 vaccine sales: analyst 

So far, federal purchasing agreements “have largely covered the U.S.,” he wrote in a note to clients. The government has inked deals to buy enough doses to immunize three quarters of the country's population, even if some of the candidates don’t pan out.  

If the FDA gives its first emergency use authorizations for all adults, vaccine supply will be limited during the first quarter of 2021, Gal wrote. But if the initial authorizations are more restrictive, and the agency requires six months of safety data, “then there will be effectively no supply bottleneck and the vaccination wave will peak mid-year, when ample supply is available,” the analyst wrote. 

Developed countries will be vaccinated “in parallel with the U.S. with similar pricing and availability trends," Gal wrote. As vaccination rates in developed countries near 50%, Gal predicts demand will slow and doses will shift to developing countries.

If current capacity projections pan out, the analyst predicts enough supplies by the end of 2021 to “vaccinate everyone.” 

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine players will split $100B in sales and $40B in profits, with Moderna leading the way: analyst 

In a separate COVID-19 vaccine market analysis, Evercore ISI analyst Josh Schimmer recently predicted COVID-19 vaccine developers will split $100 billion in total revenues and $40 billion in total profits. His team sees Moderna supplying about 40% of the total market, followed by a 20% share for Novavax. Other companies will split the rest of the market, Schimmer wrote. 

But Moderna and Novavax are going up against the some of world's largest vaccine and biopharma companies with their programs. Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and AstraZeneca are all either in phase 3 testing or planning to run large studies soon.