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Vaccine Stocks Checkup: Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer Update

See the latest news for the top companies producing COVID-19 vaccines including Pfizer, Moderna, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, and more.
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President Joe Biden said this past week that he doubled his vaccination goal, aiming to get 200 million COVID-19 shots in arms within his first 100 days in office.

He made the vaccine announcement on his administration's 65th day, as the U.S. topped 30 million COVID-19 cases with nearly 546,000 deaths.

The White House also reported Friday that they set an all-time record for most vaccine doses administered in a single day, with over 3,975,000 doses administered Thursday.

Vaccines from Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna Inc. Report and Pfizer/BioNTech  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report/ (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report are reported to be "highly effective" in preventing COVID-19 infections among essential workers, health officials said Monday, while warning the U.S. is facing "impending doom" from rising cases of the disease. 

Many states are easing their pandemic restrictions and more Americans are traveling. As a result, the U.S. is seeing a weekly average of 63,239 new Covid-19 cases a day, up 16% from a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

“We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope, but right now I’m scared," Rochelle Walensky, a physician who directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday at a press briefing. 

More than half of U.S. states are now seeing an upward trend in COVID-19 case counts, despite progress in vaccinating Americans and an earlier dip in new infections. 

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo set open eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations for April 6 to residents above 16 years old. His statement also urged New Yorkers to exercise patience.

For more in-depth coverage of the healthcare sector including trading recommendations and investment strategies, follow experts on Real Money.

Here is a list of the vaccine stocks to watch and their performance from the past week by percentage change at the close of trading on Thursday, Apr. 1:

Pfizer | +1.77% 5 Day

Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report and its German partner BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report said Thursday that testing indicated the vaccine is effective against the potent South African variant of the illness.

Top-line results from a Phase 3 analysis of 927 symptomatic cases of COVID-19 show the companies’ vaccine, BNT162b2, was 91.3% effective, measured seven days through up to six months after the second dose, they said.

The two companies said Wednesday that their newly-approved coronavirus vaccine showed a 100% efficacy rate in a pivotal trial of teenagers. And, Pfizer launched a trial of its coronavirus vaccine on children under the age of 12.

Pfizer has begun human safety testing of a new pill that could be used to treat COVID-19 when symptoms first occur. The Phase 1 trial for oral antiviral clinical candidate PF-07321332 has demonstrated "potent" in-vitro antiviral activity against SARS-CoV02, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The study, which included 2,260 children between the ages of 12 and 15, showed not only 100% efficacy from the BNT162b2 vaccine, but also a robust antibody response. 

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Pfizer as a Hold with a rating score of C+.

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Moderna | -0.59% 5 Day

Moderna said on Monday it had completed the shipment of the first 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to the U.S. government.

It also said it was on track to deliver the second batch of 100 million doses by the end of May, and a third batch by the end of July.

Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna Inc. Report announced Thursday that it will host its virtual Vaccines Day for analysts and investors on Wednesday, April 14. 

Moderna's Vaccines Day will include presentations from management and key opinion leaders on Moderna's mRNA vaccines and key considerations for vaccine development.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Moderna as a Hold with a rating score of C.

Johnson & Johnson | +0.53% 5 Day

Johnson & Johnson's  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report shares traded lower Thursday after it intercepted a batch of drug substance that would have formed part of its coronavirus vaccine production, with reports suggesting as many as 15 million doses may have been affected.

The company says it remains on pace to deliver 100 million vaccine doses by the end of May regardless of the mix-up in production at the Emergent Biosolutions manufacturing plant in Maryland.

The problem occurred about two weeks ago, after workers mixed up ingredients for the J&J vaccine with those for Astra Zeneca’s  (AZN) - Get AstraZeneca PLC Report, the New York Times reported. It was blamed on human error.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Johnson & Johnson as a Buy with a rating score of B+.

AstraZeneca | -0.34% 5 Day

AstraZeneca AZN said this past week that its COVID-19 vaccine had an efficiency rate of 76%, lower than previously released data from a U.S. trial that were criticized as being outdated.

The British drugmaker's vaccine was earlier estimated to have an efficiency rate of 79%, which was based on data gathered through Feb. 17.

However, the shot was 100% effective at preventing severe disease and death, similar to what the company said previously.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates AstraZeneca as a Buy with a rating score of B.

Novavax | +4.26% 5 Day

Novavax  (NVAX) - Get Novavax Inc. Report shares have been down as the company reported EU vaccine production issues this past week. 

Gaithersburg, MD-based Novavax said the delayed production of its COVID vaccine is caused by the company's struggle to source some of the raw materials it needs, according to a Reuters report.

A company spokesperson told Reuters that Novavax is working through some pandemic-related raw-materials-supply shortages. The spokesperson did not provide further details. 

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Novavax as a Sell with a rating score of D.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals | +4.64% 5 Day

Inovio Pharmaceuticals  (INO) - Get Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. Report earlier this month shared positive vaccine results and topped estimates when it recently reported its fourth-quarter earnings.

The company said its coronavirus vaccine candidate is making progress. “We look forward to successfully completing our Phase 2 segment in the second quarter and seeking to advance to the Phase 3 portion of the trial," said Dr. Joseph Kim, CEO of Inovio, in a statement.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Inovio as a Sell with a rating score of D-.

BioNTech | +19.70% 5 Day

BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report reported Tuesday that it will work with its partner Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report to boost the manufacturing capacity of their COVID-19 vaccine to 2.5 billion doses by the end of the year. Earlier, Pfizer said the two companies would likely produce between 2.3 billion and 2.4 billion doses this year.

BioNTech also projected sales of close to €10 billion, roughly $11.73 billion, from the vaccine this year.

The Germany-based company said the increase was driven by the improving production, a new facility in Marburg, Germany, regulatory approval for six dose vials, and the expansion of the company's manufacturing and supplier network.

TheStreet Quant Ratings has no rating for BioNTech.

Sanofi | +0.37% 5 Day

Sanofi  (SNY) - Get Sanofi Report and Translate Bio have begun trials for their vaccine candidate earlier this month. This comes after announcing a restart to its trials with GlaxoSmithKline  (GSK) - Get GSK plc American Depositary Shares (Each representing two) Report in late February.

Sanofi will pay Translate Bio $25 million on the achievement of the milestone, they said. The drug is being developed under a collaboration and license agreement between the two companies.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Sanofi as a Buy with a rating score of B.

CureVac | +7.64% 5 Day

CureVac CVAC has entered partnerships with Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline earlier in 2021 after showing promise in its animal trials.

CureVac and its larger rival will use messenger RNA techniques, similar to those used by Pfizer and Moderna, to develop a multi-variant vaccine candidate that the pair hope will be available in 2022.

GlaxoSmithKline, which took a 10% stake in CureVac last year, also said it would support the manufacturing of CureVac's first messenger-RNA vaccine, known as CVnCoV, which the drugmaker said in November triggered antibody development in 250 human volunteers between the ages of 18 and 60 on a level similar to that of patients recovering from COVID-19.

TheStreet Quant Ratings has no rating for CureVac.

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