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AstraZeneca Loses Money on Covid-19 Vaccine for Second Straight Quarter

LONDON— AstraZeneca PLC narrowed losses from its Covid-19 vaccine in the second quarter, but the shot continued to weigh on the drug giant’s earnings.

The British-Swedish drugmaker pledged last year to distribute the shot at no profit during the pandemic. AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said Thursday the company and its manufacturing partners had released more than one billion doses of the vaccine for use in more than 170 countries. That included 700 million doses delivered by the end of June. The vaccine boosted second-quarter revenue by $894 million.

But the vaccine contributed to about $13 million in losses in the quarter, shaving 1 cent off the company’s per-share earnings, which declined 28% to 42 cents compared with 58 cents in the comparable quarter of 2020.

In April, AstraZeneca said it lost around $40 million on its Covid-19 vaccine the first three months of this year, based on its reported 3-cent hit to per-share earnings for the quarter. The second-quarter loss Thursday brings the total reported loss from the shot this year to about $53 million.

Shares fell 0.8% on the second-quarter profit decline.

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