BioNTech, Moderna Soar As WHO Wants Nations To Hold Off Boosters

imageStock Markets4 hours ago (Aug 04, 2021 18:32)

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By Dhirendra Tripathi – Stocks of BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) soared Wednesday as the World Health Organization asked countries, particularly the wealthy ones, to stop the distribution of Covid-19 booster shots for at least two months.

BioNTech was up 16% and Moderna 8%. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), which is collaborating with Germany-based BioNTech on the Covid vaccine, was flat. So was Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ).

The world health body cited vaccine inequity for its request.

“We need an urgent reversal from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries, to the majority going to low income countries,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing.

WHO’s plea comes as the Delta variant, which wreaked havoc in India during March-May, spreads in the U.S., Vietnam, Australia and several other countries of the world.

Vaccine manufacturing is happening in very few countries like the U.S., Russia, China, India and parts of Europe and capacities are constrained. Supply chains are stretched with the mRNA vaccines, found to be the most effective in neutralizing the virus, needing special infrastructure for their transportation and administration.

While vaccine makers will be happy to see a higher demand for vaccines, not everyone is convinced a booster is needed nor is there a certainty on which vaccines need more than two doses. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is the only one that needs only one regular dose.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the data warranting the need for booster doses remains unclear.

A study in Israel recently pointed out to decreasing efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine even as it said the shot prevents serious illness.

BioNTech, Moderna Soar As WHO Wants Nations To Hold Off Boosters

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