The Vaccine Race: Top Pharmaceutical Stocks Working on the Vaccine

The Vaccine Race: Top Pharmaceutical Stocks Working on the Vaccine

Finding a Covid-19 vaccine is the best way to win the battle against the pandemic and pharmaceutical companies around the globe realize this. Vaccines typically require years of research and testing before moving to clinical trials. However, since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, scientists started racing to produce an effective vaccine. The first vaccine-safety trials on humans started in March, and now 13 have reached the final stages of testing. While a few vaccines may succeed in stimulating the immune system to produce effective antibodies against the virus, those vaccines may potentially prevent infection, but they cannot cure the disease.

The four focal vaccine developers; AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and Gamaleya, have already reported promising phase 3 trial results against COVID-19. They estimated sufficient doses for more than one-third of the world’s population by the end of 2021, and a total production capacity of 5.3 billion doses for 2021, which covers between 2.6 billion and 3.1 billion people, depending on the dosage. 

(Vaccines pre-orders for each company)

Most of the capacity is already spoken for, the European Union with the other five countries have pre-ordered about half of it. Those countries only account for 13 percent of the global population. 

(Countries with the most amount of supply orders)

(Last 3 months volume compared with Dec. 2020)

Pfizer and BioNTech

Pfizer and BioNTech are jointly developing a vaccine. This partnership has developed over the first quarter of 2020 with the aim to rapidly advance vaccine development and scale-up manufacturing capacity. It is expected that the partnership will leverage Pfizer’s broad expertise in vaccine research and development and regulatory capabilities. Pfizer and BioNTech will share development costs equally. Initially, Pfizer will fund 100 percent of the development costs and BioNTech will repay Pfizer its 50 percent share of these costs during the commercialization of the vaccine. This could account for the higher volume of trade for Pfizer compared with BioNTech. 

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On the 9th of November, Pfizer and BioNTech made history by presenting preliminary data indicating that the vaccine was over 90 percent effective. On the 2nd of December, The UK gave emergency authorization to the vaccine to become the first western country to give approval for a coronavirus vaccine.


By the end of November, Moderna announced it was applying to the Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization, it is the second application, coming just two weeks after Pfizer and BioNTech. If Moderna receives the authorization, the first injections of its vaccine could start as early as the 21st of December. US Government backed Moderna’s efforts, providing around $1 billion in support. After 30,000 volunteers have taken the vaccine, the preliminary data from the trial showed that the vaccine’s efficiency rate is 94.1 percent, which is far higher than experts had expected when the vaccine testing began. This result has positively affected the market volume. 

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On the 16th of November, Moderna announced the first preliminary data from the trial, followed by the complete data on the 30th of November. The researchers estimated that the vaccine has an efficiency of 94.1 percent.  On the 2nd of December, Moderna registered a trial to test the vaccine on children between 12 and 18 years old. On the 25th of November, the company has reached an agreement with the European Commission to supply up to 160 million doses, with similar deals with Canada, Japan, and Qatar.


With nearly 9000 volunteers, who were given two full doses four weeks apart, the efficiency of AstraZeneca’s vaccine has reached 62 percent. This may be considered one factor affecting the volume of trade in comparison to other companies. AstraZeneca stressed that the data are preliminary, rather than full and final.

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On the 23rd of November, AstraZeneca announced that the vaccine has a promising efficiency percentage. Surprisingly, an initial half-strength dose led to 90 percent efficiency, while two standard-dose shots led only to 62 percent efficiency. This led to a huge drop down in the stock price, being compared with the efficiency percentages of Pfizer with 90 percent and Moderna with 94.1 percent efficiency.

The most important question right now is: which drug firm will first confirm finalizing the vaccine? Trade now and capitalize on the opportunity since the race is not over yet.

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