Pfizer (PFE) and its German partner BioNTech (BNTX) reported incredible efficacy data from a phase 3 trial for their mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidate. This news, paired with the equally impressive data from Moderna (MRNA) about its candidate that takes a similar approach, inspired much hope around the world and injected optimism into the stock market.
We talked with Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist and Associate Research Scientist at Columbia Center for Infection and Immunity, about how investors should decide whether to buy coronavirus vaccine stocks.
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Corinne Cardina: Dr. Angela, I know that you're a doctor of course, but us, The Motley Fool, we are investors. So I'm going to put you on the spot and ask, what would you say to any investors who are considering buying stock of one or more companies that are working on COVID-19 vaccines?
Dr. Angela Rasmussen: That is definitely out of my wheelhouse because I'm not any kind of financial advisor or investment advisor. Certainly, Pfizer is a good bet, probably looking forward. Buying stock in any of these companies is probably advisable especially if they have promising trial results like Pfizer has had. There's room in the market for all of these vaccines and, in my opinion, the more, the better, the more people we can get vaccinated. Maybe as we get more data, some of these vaccines may work better for certain groups than others. Perhaps the Pfizer vaccine works well in elderly people but the Moderna vaccine does not. That's not fact, that's just a hypothetical situation. But let's say that one vaccine works better for some people than for others, that means that there's really room in the market for everybody. I think that investing in any of these companies that have late-stage vaccine candidates is probably a smart move financially. It's what I would do if I were buying stocks in pharmaceutical companies, which I'm not because of conflicts of interest.