Pfizer will close facilities in Durham and Morrisville, part of a company wide “realignment” being made, according to a statement, “to operate more efficiently and effectively.”

The company, which includes a COVID-19 vaccine in its vast portfolio, reported a drop in sales through the first half of 2023, but expected to see sales rebound with the advent of fall COVID cases and vaccination pushes. Pfizer’s profit sank 77% to $2.33 billion in the second quarter while adjusted earnings totaled 67 cents per share. That topped average analyst expectations for 57 cents per share. Revenue dropped 54% to $12.73 billon, which missed forecasts.

“It’s never a good thing when we see jobs go away,”  Steve Rao, Morrisville Town Council, said.

This is disappointing news for Morrisville council member Steve Rao, who represents the other Triangle location where Pfizer is closing up shop.

It’s a cost-cutting move -with Pfizer citing a drop in sales for COVID products.

Despite the job cuts at Pfizer, Rao says Morrisville has the momentum for companies to invest in life sciences.

“New jobs can be created, supporting new technology and new technology,” Rao said. That’s why I remain very positive about our economic outlook.”

Pfizer booked about $100 billion in total revenue last year, largely on the boost provided by COVID-19 vaccine sales. Company stock closed Friday at $30.11, down 3.37%.

The company has not filed notice with the state as required under certain circumstances when facilities are closed or mass layoffs planned. The company has more than 80,000 employees worldwide and about 4,000 in North Carolina.

The company statement pointed out that the two largest NC facilities — in Sanford and in Rocky Mount — are unaffected in this round of belt-tightening.

The Rocky Mount facility, which makes injectable medicines used by hospitals, employs about 3,200 people and was damaged in a tornado in July. It has since resumed regular operations.

The Durham Clinical Manufacturing Facility had only been open since December 2021, when plans were to create 50 jobs and relocate 40 employees from Chapel Hill. It is not clear how many people were working there when the closure was announced.