Pfizer Stock Goes Parabolic After Covid Vaccine Results: 3 Things You Need To Know
A vaccine developed by Pfizer — the New York-based drugmaker best known for Xanax and Viagra — protected more than 90 percent of symptomatic infections in the Phase two trial of tens of thousands of volunteers.
The results were described as “extraordinary” by the top U.S. infectious-disease specialist.
Developed with Turkish-German biotech company BioNTech, the vaccine’s preliminary results are the most encouraging so far in the battle against covid-19. They may pave the way for the New York-based Pfizer to seek an emergency-use authorization.
The earliest covid vaccines expected to offer protection in the range of 60-to-70 percent, so a rate of more than 90 percent “is just extraordinary,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on a call with reporters.
Much more data is needed, including how the vaccine works on sub-groups such as the elderly. It’s expected that front-line medical personnel, essential workers and at-risk groups will receive the first shots, Bloomberg reported.
Here are three things you need to know.
News of the successful trials help Pfizer stock, fuel global stock rally
News of the successful Phase two trials pushed Pfizer stock up as much as 15 percent Monday in New York. BioNTech American depositary shares surged as much as 24 percent.
Global stock markets rallied Monday as well, adding more than $1.8 trillion to the value of the MSCI All Country World Index, Bloomberg reported.
Europe’s Stoxx 600 closed up 4 percent, its best day since May. The Russell 2000 of small-cap stocks — a barometer of the U.S. economy rose 3.7 percent and S&P 500 index closed 1.2 percent higher after being up 3.9 percent — an intraday record. U.K. jet engine maker Rolls-Royce closed up 44 percent, its biggest-ever one-day gain, according to FactSet, Financial Times reported.
The news from Pfizer “looks good, and it smells good, but we’re far from a done deal and history shows that there have been a lot of false dawns,” said Gregory Perdon, co-chief investment officer at U.K.-based bank Arbuthnot Latham.
The vaccine was not developed as part of Operation Warp Speed
Vice President Mike Pence tweeted that the Trump administration had backed the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley gave Trump credit for Pfizer’s work. However, Pfizer disputed U.S. government backing, pointing out that its vaccine had nothing to do with Trump’s Operation Warp Speed or the government.
Operation Warp Speed is a $12 billion government program started in May, to supply a vaccine to 300 million Americans.
“We were never part of the Warp Speed … We have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone,” Pfizer’s head of vaccine development, Dr Kathrin Jansen, told the New York Times.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CBS News’ Face The Nation, “I wanted to liberate our scientists from any bureaucracy. When you get money from someone…that always comes with strings.”
Pfizer’s vaccine will likely be the first one authorized by the FDA
Pfizer’s vaccine will almost certainly be the first to be authorized by the U.S. Food And Drug Administration, health news site Stat reported.
Pfizer plans to apply for emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the third week of November. Any covid vaccine in the U.S. has to get FDA approval. If approved, Pfizer expects to make up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020, and 1.3 billion in 2021. Each person would need to take two shots 21 days apart, according to CNet.
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How good are Pfizer’s 90-percent protection results? By comparison, flu vaccines are 40 to 60 percent effective at best, because the flue virus keeps evolving. By contrast, two doses of the measles vaccine are 97 percent effective, New York Times reported.