(Bloomberg) -- Pfizer Inc. is forecasting 24% of the US population recommended to take newly approved Covid-19 vaccinations will decide to roll up their sleeves, representing a slight increase in takeup from the previous round of boosters. 

The drugmaker is launching ads to encourage people to get the vaccine, which targets the XBB.1.5 subvariant, and is available commercially, Pfizer Chief Financial Officer David Denton said at a JPMorgan Chase & Co. conference.

Only about 17% of eligible Americans took the previous bivalent booster released last fall as of May.

The company is seeing usage of its Covid antiviral Paxlovid increase in lockstep with infection rates, although it will have to work through its government-purchased inventory before the drug can be sold commercially, Denton added. 

“The burndown of inventory will be necessary before we launch in the marketplace globally,” Denton said. “That has the effect of essentially dampening 2023 revenue performance. As we transition out of this phase — 2023 being a transitional year — 2024 will be a year that’s much more typical from a commercialization timeframe.”

Last week, US regulators approved boosters made by Moderna Inc. and Pfizer in partnership with BioNTech SE. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that everyone six months and older get the shot as hospitalizations have risen in the US for the first time this year amid the spread of new strains.

Read More: Pfizer, Moderna Covid Boosters Ready for Rollout in the US 

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