Vaccine Stocks Dive As CDC Finds ‘Likely Association’ Between Covid Shots, Heart Inflammation

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group said Wednesday there is a “likely association” in younger people between heart inflammation and Covid vaccines from Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA). In response, vaccine stocks stumbled.


The risk of myocarditis and pericarditis — inflammation of the heart and tissues surrounding it — is heightened in people under the age of 30. Males are more at risk and the cases tend to occur within a week of the second dose, according to the group.

As of June 11, there had been more than 1,200 cases of heart inflammation among recipients of the Pfizer/BioNTech (BNTX) and Moderna vaccines. More than two-thirds of those occurred in people following the second dose, according to a slide presentation.

On the stock market today, Pfizer stock slipped 1.4% to 39.05. BioNTech and Moderna stocks were harder hit, falling a respective 3% and 4.2%.

Vaccine Stocks Fall On CDC Finding

The CDC has spent months investigating cases of heart inflammation following vaccination. Now, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is meeting to discuss the potential risks, how to manage them and whether there are any long-term concerns.

According to the slide presentation, more than half of the cases occurred in people age 12-24. Only the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is allowed for people under age 18.

The numbers suggest roughly 19 out of 1 million people age 12-39 will experience heart inflammation within three weeks of receiving the second dose of Moderna’s vaccine. The rate is closer to 12 out of 1 million for the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech.

Both companies are also working to expand their Covid vaccines to children as young as 6 months. The vaccine stocks have climbed on bullish views for vaccine sales. This year, Pfizer expects $26 billion in sales. Moderna has called for north of $18 billion.

Part of those expectations are for Covid inoculations in younger children and for booster shots. So, any decision to limit vaccinations could put a damper on vaccine stocks.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.


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