In a widely anticipated move, and following several countries’ earlier approval, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Pfizer and Moderna booster shots today, for certain immunocompromised individuals, specifically, solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.
The approval for the third shot will bring in billions for both pharmaceutical companies, in a market that could rival the $6 billion in annual sales for flu vaccines for years to come, analysts and healthcare investors say, Reuters reports.
So, is now a good time to buy these stocks?
Sel Hardy, senior analyst at CFRA Research, tells GOBankingRates that he sees “the news favorable for PFE and MRNA since the authorization was for those two vaccines only. I also see the potential of an emergency use authorization for the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine for younger children ages 5 to 11 coming soon, as another near-term catalyst.”
CFRA raised its opinion on shares of Pfizer Strong Buy from Buy, following the FDA decision.
“We think other countries might also follow suit, despite WHO’s concerns for vaccine equity, due to the rising health risks posed by the Delta variant and diminishing protection of the vaccine over time, based on recent studies,” according to a research note sent to GOBankingRates. “We also expect to see a faster regulatory approval for the vaccine for younger children ages 5 to 11 due to increasing health concerns for this unvaccinated age group, and the rapidly spreading Delta variant amid the start of a new school year.”
As for Moderna, the stock fell 16% Wednesday as investors seemed to struggle to value shares that have nearly tripled in value this year, Barron’s reported, adding that the stock was up more than 300% over that period, beating the S&P 500, which climbed 18.%.
Moderna’s stock was up 1.56% this morning, at $397.51, while Pfizer’s was up 1.61%, at $48.
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“The country has entered yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the FDA is especially cognizant that immunocompromised people are particularly at risk for severe disease. After a thorough review of the available data, the FDA determined that this small, vulnerable group may benefit from a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Va. Today’s action allows doctors to boost immunity in certain immunocompromised individuals who need extra protection from COVID-19,” acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, said in a statement.
“As we’ve previously stated, other individuals who are fully vaccinated are adequately protected and do not need an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine at this time. The FDA is actively engaged in a science-based, rigorous process with our federal partners to consider whether an additional dose may be needed in the future.”
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