Covid vaccine stocks BioNTech (BNTX) and Moderna (MRNA) surged Friday after a new study suggested an added benefit of the updated omicron-targeting boosters over the original shots.
Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech measured the amount of virus-blocking antibodies capable of handling the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of omicron. People who received the updated booster shots had four times as many antibodies as those given the original vaccine series.
So far, uptake of the new boosters is slow. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just about 10% of adults in the U.S. have gotten one of the two so-called bivalent vaccines targeting the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of omicron as well as the ancestral strain.
“As we head into the holiday season, we hope these updated data will encourage people to seek out a Covid-19 bivalent booster as soon as they are eligible in order to maintain high levels of protection against the widely circulating omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages,” Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla said in a written statement.
In midday trades on today’s stock market, vaccine stocks jumped. BioNTech stock led the way, rising 4.8% near 152.30. Moderna stock also popped 4.1% near 153.50. Pfizer edged a fraction higher near 46.80.
Vaccine Stocks: 9.5-Fold Increase In Antibodies
Researchers split participants into two groups. Recipients of the bivalent booster previously received the original booster shot 10-11 months ago. The second group received another dose of the original booster roughly seven months after their previous dose.
Antibody levels were similar across all participants prior to receiving one of the boosters. After receiving the bivalent booster, people showed a 9.5-fold increase in virus-blocking antibodies. In comparison, those who received the original booster had a 2.9-fold jump in antibodies against the omicron sub-variants. The news is bullish for vaccine stocks as the companies work to stoke booster demand.
Today, the BA.5 sub-variant still leads cases in the U.S., accounting for more than 39%. But BA.4 accounts for less than 1% of all cases. Meanwhile, the newer BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 sub-variants are climbing in the case rankings. Together, they generated about 35% of cases over the last week, according to the CDC.
Booster use will be important for vaccine stocks. Analysts currently expect huge declines in sales in 2023.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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The post The Important Piece Of News That Could Stoke Demand For Covid Boosters appeared first on WorldNewsEra.