What’s New With The Covid-19 Vaccine?

What’s New With The Covid-19 Vaccine?

Moderna and Pfizer have come out in recent as the top candidates for maximum vaccine efficacy for Covid-19. So what technology was used to develop these shots? How do they plan to deliver them globally? Which ones will India choose?

Crux of the Matter

What Is Vaccine Efficacy?
It is the percentage reduction of disease in a vaccinated group of people, when compared to an unvaccinated group. It is best measured using clinical trials, using best case or ideal scenarios.

Is It Different From Vaccine Effectiveness?
Vaccine effectiveness tells us how well a vaccine works when used in a general, bigger population whereas vaccine efficacy depicts how well a vaccine works in controlled, ideal conditions, like during a clinical trial.

Head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, immunologist Anthony Fauci has officially reported that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, developed in collaboration with BioNTech SE, has an efficacy between 90-95%. The US administration has funded this development and has also secured the advanced purchase of the vaccine, in order to make it reach the entire US population by year end.

Let us understand how both these vaccines work.

Which One Will India Choose?
India is still hoping for the success of the Phase 3 trials of the homegrown Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and the home-tested AstraZeneca Oxford University vaccine. Meanwhile, Russia’s Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine has shown 92% efficacy in preliminary trials.

What To Look For Next?
The logistical challenge posed by mass production and distribution of these vaccines, that need to be transported in cold conditions, to a global population of around 7 billion people.

  • The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is a weekly medical journal published by the Massachusetts Medical Society. It is among the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals as well as the oldest continuously published one.
  • In the pharmaceutical industry, fill and finish is the process of filling vials with vaccine and finishing the process of packaging the medicine for distribution. The fill/finish process is a common bottleneck in the manufacturing and deployment of vaccines.
  • Vaccines can be prophylactic (to prevent or ameliorate the effects of a future infection), or therapeutic (to fight a disease that has already occurred).

Markets’ Reaction To Pfizer Vaccine Announcement

Markets' Reaction To Pfizer Vaccine Announcement

On 9th November, American Pharma company Pfizer announced preliminary results of its Covid-19 vaccine which was found to be 90% effective in preventing Coronavirus. With this announcement, hope for the restoration of normal life arose across the globe. Let’s find out how markets reacted to this announcement.

Crux of the Matter

Pfizer’s Announcement
US pharma Pfizer announced preliminary results of its Covid-19 vaccine which was found to be 90% effective in preventing Coronavirus. Pfizer said that it will supply 50 million doses this year and 1.3 billion next year if the vaccine gets approved. After results, Pfizer’s stock surged. Take a look at the chart below:

Fall In Zoom, Netflix, & The Likes
The announcement also led to a fall in prices of stock of businesses like Zoom (video calling app), Netflix (OTT platform), exercise equipment, healthcare that were on a rise during Covid-19. Have a look at the infographic below to know more.

Stocks Of The Old Normal Rose
In hopes of revival, stocks of airlines, leisure, hotels, etc industries surged after Pfizer’s announcement. Here are some examples:

Indian Stock Market At All-Time High
Nifty and Sensex reached their all-time high after US election results and Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine announcement, which renewed enthusiasm in people for a faster economic recovery worldwide.

However, Nifty Pharma and Nifty IT showed declining trend as investors pulled out money from them to invest (or have short term gains) in sectors like tours & travel, airlines, etc that were expected to rise after Pfizer’s announcement. Among Pharmas, Lupin, Cipla, & Cadila Healthcare dropped by 6%. Take a look at the graphs below:

In tandem with the world market, India’s stocks of cinema, travel, & airline industries surged. Here are some examples:

Fall In Prices Of Gold and Silver
Gold and Silver were considered safe havens during Covid-19 peak and lockdowns due to limited investment options and in fear of recession, but now in hope of the vaccine, their prices fell too.

Some scientists say that final results are yet to come and this announcement comes with caveats as the trial is still underway. Some scientists have warned of the early hype as long term effects and efficacy are yet to be measured.

As I have long said, Pfizer and the others would only announce a Vaccine after the Election, because they didn’t have the courage to do it before. Likewise, the FDA should have announced it earlier, not for political purposes, but for saving lives!

Donald Trump

Read More: What Is Mahurat Trading?

  • Pfizer was a constituent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from 2004 to 2020. It was replaced by Amgen on August 31, 2020.
  • Pfizer scientist Jasper H. Kane suggested using a deep-tank fermentation method for producing large quantities of pharmaceutical-grade penicillin. As a direct result of the war and the War Production Board, by June 1945, over 646 billion units per year were being produced, majority of which were by Pfizer.
  • In September 2009, Pfizer pleaded guilty to the illegal marketing of the arthritis drug Bextra for uses unapproved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and agreed to a $2.3 billion settlement, the largest health care fraud settlement at that time.