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Could the U.S. Buying More COVID Vaccines Hurt Johnson & Johnson and Novavax?

By Keith Speights - Feb 12, 2021 at 6:14AM

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All American adults could potentially be fully vaccinated this year with only Pfizer's and Moderna's vaccines.

Uncle Sam wants more vaccines. The U.S. government is in discussions with Pfizer (PFE 1.32%) and Moderna (MRNA -0.70%) about securing 100 million more doses of each of their COVID-19 vaccines.

In this Motley Fool Live video, recorded on Feb. 1, "The Wrap" host Jason Hall and Motley Fool contributors Keith Speights and Danny Vena discuss what impact these additional vaccine purchases might have on two other companies that could soon win Emergency Use Authorization for their COVID-19 vaccines: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 0.86%) and Novavax (NVAX -3.04%).

Jason Hall: Here's some big news. The Biden administration is taking a pretty aggressive approach here, just trying to really increase rollout of vaccines, and wants to buy another 100 million doses each from Pfizer and Moderna. That's 200 million doses, which is 100 million people vaccinated. Here's the thing, what does this do in terms of affecting the market for other vaccines like the J&J when -- or the Novavax.

Keith Speights: Yeah, so overall, I will say this as a caveat: The deal is not done yet, but the Biden administration is reportedly in discussions with both Pfizer and Moderna about securing an additional, like you said, 100 million doses each from both of those companies. That would bring the total for just Pfizer and Moderna combined to 600 million doses. Now, you divide that by two, and that means that 300 million Americans could be fully vaccinated, just with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Danny Vena: The last time I checked, I think we had a population of about 327 million.

Speights: Yeah, right around 330 million, and some of those are children. So these vaccines aren't yet authorized for children. Pfizer's only goes down to age 16. Moderna's only goes to age 18. They're doing studies for children 12 and up, but basically, all adults in the U.S. would be able to be vaccinated with the 600 million doses that the U.S. will be getting assuming these deals go through.

You think, well, does that crowd out, Johnson and Johnson, does that crowd out Novavax? Not necessarily.

First of all, the U.S. already has supply deals in place with both of those companies for 100 million doses each, and you've got to think long-term. Like we've said, this isn't going to just go away, unfortunately, there will be need for vaccines going forward.

I think it could impact some of these other companies who are trailing further behind. I think if they were hoping to get emergency use authorization maybe later this year, I think their odds are lower as a result of these deals. But I don't think it necessarily impacts the leaders such as Johnson & Johnson, Novavax.

Novavax, by the way, their results were from a U.K. study, and they are in the middle of doing a U.S. study. The results for it will be available in a few months. Novavax's CEO is actually trying to lobby a little bit publicly that the FDA would use the results from the U.K. study to get their vaccine authorized more quickly. We'll see how that lobbying effort goes, but he's trying it.

Hall: We'll see what happens there.

Vena: Well, you can't blame a guy for trying.

Speights: [laughs] You can't blame him for trying and he has a good point. If it's good enough to be authorized in the U.K. and Europe. Why not? This is an emergency here. We want to reach that herd immunity sooner rather than later.

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Stocks Mentioned

Johnson & Johnson Stock Quote
Johnson & Johnson
$178.37 (0.86%) $1.52
Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
$50.58 (1.32%) $0.66
Novavax, Inc. Stock Quote
Novavax, Inc.
$50.31 (-3.04%) $-1.58
Moderna, Inc. Stock Quote
Moderna, Inc.
$136.95 (-0.70%) $0.96

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