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Moderna, BioNTech Stocks Topple As CDC Panel Discusses Merits Of Covid Booster Shots

Vaccine stocks BioNTech (BNTX) and Moderna (MRNA) dipped Monday during a key Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meeting to discuss Covid shots, including boosters.




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The meeting discussed Covid vaccine boosters for all recipients of messenger RNA shots from vaccine stocks Pfizer (PFE)/BioNTech and Moderna. Medical experts weighed the merits and risks of booster shots late Monday.

On the stock market today, BioNTech stock fell 3.8% to 345. Moderna stock toppled 3% to 370.69. But Pfizer stock reversed an earlier dip and rose a fraction to 46.76.

Vaccine Stocks Dip Ahead Of Meeting

In its first iteration, the White House said it would offer booster shots beginning eight months after the second dose. But according to CNBC, President Joe Biden has discussed the potential of third shots at five months. The U.S. would be following Israel’s lead.

“We’re considering the advice you’ve given that we should start earlier,” Biden said, according to CNBC, during a meeting with Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday. “Should it be as little as five months, and that’s being discussed.”

Still, vaccine stocks fell on Friday.

The next step is a decision from the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The work group has discussed a risk-based approach to booster shots, a spokeswoman said late Monday. But the work group hadn’t made a recommendation by Monday’s close.

The Biden administration hopes to start booster shots on Sept. 20. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed the eight-month timeline remains in place. Officials with the CDC and Food and Drug Administration would have to sign off on beginning boosters at five months.

Rally Slows Despite Delta Spread

Amid all of this, the rally for vaccine stocks is now in limbo. The U.S. mass vaccination plan has slowed despite the spread of the delta variant with 52.3% of all people in the U.S. fully vaccinated. And medical experts don’t all agree booster shots will help end the pandemic.

Moderna stock hit a peak at 497.49 on Aug. 6. To that point, shares had risen more than fourfold in 2021. But the vaccine stock has dropped off recently.

Likewise, BioNTech stock hit its 464 peak on Aug. 10 after soaring nearly sixfold above its closing price for 2020. But shares are now close to 26% off that high.

Pfizer stock also hit a fresh high on Aug. 18 at 51.86, but the vaccine stock has since trended down.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.

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