MRNA, NVAX, OCGN, PFE, BNTX: What Is Going on With Vaccine Stocks Today?

As another week kicks off on Wall Street, it’s clear that the ominous coverage of the spreading omicron variant is still casting shadows over markets. This week has started off with mixed news surrounding the companies who are working around the clock to get ahead in the vaccine race. This has been making it difficult for the overall sector to gain the type of momentum it needs for all vaccine stocks to start moving upward. While one company has an encouraging update regarding its vaccine’s effectiveness against the variant, most of its peers haven’t been so lucky.

A bunch of glass vials of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.
Source: Shutterstock

What’s Going on With Vaccine Stocks?

For the companies embedded in the race to beat the variant, this week isn’t off to a good start. Indeed, vaccine stocks are facing noticeable turbulence. Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) began the day with the announcement that a third dose of its Covid-19 vaccine has been proven to increase antibodies against the new variant. Even with such reassuring news, MRNA stock is still down 1.44% as of this writing. That said, it did cause shares to surge this morning, putting MRNA stock up almost 10% for the week.

Meanwhile, most of its peers aren’t fairing much better. Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) just received authorization from the European Union to begin distributing its vaccine throughout Europe during the first half of 2022. While this news sent the stock up in premarket trading today, it hasn’t done much since then. As of this writing, NVAX stock is down more than 2% after falling this morning. Additionally, Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) is also falling after an initial early day rise driven by superficial catalysts.

The only vaccine stock in the green this morning is Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), which is up more than 2% today despite the recent setback the company experienced regarding its vaccine for children five years old and younger. Meanwhile, Pfizer’s vaccine production partner, Germany-based BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) is down 0.67% so far, despite the recent news that the two companies will be providing more than 200 million additional vaccine doses to the EU in 2022.

Why It Matters

While the week is off to a rough start, every company on this list is still up for the week. The only exception is OCGN, which seems mroe like a meme stock that is losing momentum.

However, every other name on this list is fair game for a bullish play on vaccine stocks. The new data from Moderna is highly encouraging, in no small part because it likely means that Pfizer won’t be far behind in tailoring its own vaccine to effectively fight the omicron variant. Novavax’s news is also cause for optimism. While it hasn’t helped the stock rise this morning, it does suggest that global vaccine efforts are moving forward. The same could be said for the recent EU news regarding Pfizer and BioNTech. Novavax has been working hard to gain its place among the vaccine producers that helped us beat the pandemic’s earlier waves. And this looks like an opportunity for it to do exactly that.

What It Means

Despite today’s downturn, we will likely see another vaccine stock boom in 2022. Indeed, this will come as companies make real strides against the omicron variant.

Regardless of exactly how that shakes out, world leaders are going to be working hard to speed up global vaccination efforts to ensure that new variants don’t emerge and complicate matters further. Every stock on this list, with the exception of OCGN, is worth watching as the new year takes shape.

On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

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