How the COVID-19 Vaccine Has Affected Pfizer and 5 Other Notable Stocks
As much as we might like to think that public health and the economy are not dependent on one another, the reality is they are inexorably linked. A strong economy allows us to have state-of-the-art research facilities and medical treatments, but at the same time, we can’t have a healthy economy without a healthy population.
When people are sick, they don’t go out and spend money, and economic activity slows. This is exactly what we saw when industries related to travel and entertainment slowed to a crawl due to the pandemic.
Fortunately, vaccines started to become available in less than a year — a time that felt long but was actually lightning-quick compared to past vaccines. It’s no surprise then that the companies that led the way in developing vaccines were rewarded handsomely with big increases in their stock prices. Some even saw two-year increases that were well into the triple-digit range.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest names in vaccine development and how their stocks fared since the beginning of the pandemic, and since the beginning of the COVID vaccine rollout.
BioNTech was the trailblazer for COVID vaccines released in the United States. BioNTech partnered with Pfizer in producing what is often referred to as the Pfizer vaccine, which was the first COVID vaccine available in the U.S. The two-dose vaccine is 95% efficacious, making it a key tool in preventing serious illness due to COVID-19.
Given BioNTech’s key role in fighting the pandemic — and the fact the company wasn’t really known beforehand — it comes as no surprise that its stock (NASDAQ: BNTX) has more than quadrupled since March 2020. At the time, its shares sold for $30.93, but have since increased by 338% to more than $135 per share. However, its shares have declined significantly as of late, down more than 45% in the past six months.
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Pfizer is a large pharmaceutical company many people know for drugs such as Viagra. However, the company was instrumental in helping BioNTech develop the first FDA-approved COVID vaccine in the U.S.
Pfizer stock (NYSE: PFE) has increased as a result, though not as dramatically as some of the other names mentioned here. Its stock increased 62% from March 2020 to March 2022 and 44.83% since March 2021. Its stock slipped slightly in the past month, though it only declined by 1%.
Along with Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna is the other developer of a two-dose mRNA vaccine approved for use in the United States. Moderna’s vaccine is slightly less effective than the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, but at 94.1% efficacy, the Moderna vaccine still provides outstanding protection.
Recently, both Pfizer and Moderna have asked the FDA to approve second boosters. Pfizer and BioNTech asked for approval for adults 65 and over, while Moderna seeks approval for all adults.
Moderna stock (NASDAQ: MRNA) has done extremely well since the start of the pandemic with a nearly 550% rise in its stock since March 2020. It went from just over $21 per share in March 2020 to more than $321 per share in October 2021. However, the stock has done poorly more recently — shares are up 0.88% overall for the year, but down 57% in the past six months. In the latter period, its stock price has dropped by more than $183, closing at $138.20 on March 11, 2022.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is a large pharmaceutical that produces much more than just vaccines. Many people know the Johnson & Johnson brand, but the company also owns brands such as Band-Aid, Neutrogena and Tylenol. J&J developed a one-dose COVID vaccine that was initially thought to be an important part of fighting the pandemic because recipients wouldn’t have to return for a second dose.
But the vaccine was shown to be just 66.3% effective in clinical trials compared to more than 90% for Pfizer and Moderna. This may help explain why Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has fared the worst in the past two years of any stock mentioned here, up just 27.85%. Its one-year change is just 7.58%. On the plus side, it has continued a slow and steady rise in the past six months.
AstraZeneca has a two-dose vaccine that was approved for emergency use in the U.K. at the start of 2021. In November 2021, AstraZeneca announced that two billion doses of the vaccine had been administered. AstraZeneca’s stock (NASDAQ: AZN) hasn’t fared as well as other vaccines on this list, with a 42.62% increase from March 2020 to March 2022.
The vaccine is 76% efficacious according to the World Health Organization, which is good, but not as good as other vaccines in the U.S. Plus, the vaccine was temporarily suspended in several countries due to concerns over rare blood clots.
Despite all this, shares of AZN have fared better in the past year with a 24.54% increase from March 2021 to March 2022.
Novavax is an American biotech company that is developing a COVID vaccine. This vaccine is notable because, unlike the BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the Novavax vaccine is a protein vaccine. While this vaccine will be a protein subunit vaccine, protein recombinant vaccines have been around since the 1970s, which could be a positive for those who are hesitant toward mRNA vaccines.
Despite this development, Novavax stock (NASDAQ: NVAX) has been even more of a roller coaster than Moderna. Its shares are up nearly 767.90% since the start of the pandemic, but down 64% the past year. That said, Novavax stock sold for just $8.41 at the start of the pandemic, and in March 2022 it sold for nearly $73.
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Methodology: For this piece, GOBankingRates used Yahoo Finance data in order to discover how the COVID-19 vaccine as affected certain vaccine/medical company stocks. First, GOBankingRates found the following for each company looked at: (1) March 13, 2020 stock closing price; (2) March 12, 2021 stock closing price; (3) October 13, 2021 stock closing price; (4) February 11, 2022 stock closing price; and (5) March 11, 2022 stock closing price. With these figures collected GOBankingRates next found the following for each stock: (6) two year (Mar. 2020 to Mar. 2022) change in stock price; (7) one year (Mar. 2021 to Mar. 2022) change in stock price; (8) six month (Oct. 2021 to Mar. 2022) change in stock price; and (9) one month (Feb. 2022 to Mar. 2022) change in stock price. All data was collected and is up to date as of March 14, 2022.