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How Big Is the COVID Vaccine Market for Younger Kids?

By Keith Speights - Updated Jun 24, 2021 at 8:13AM

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This potential market is definitely large enough to motivate drugmakers to go after it.

Pfizer's (PFE -2.78%) COVID-19 vaccine can now be given to kids between the ages of 12 and 15. However, the big drugmaker is currently conducting clinical studies with the hopes of expanding the use of its vaccine to younger children. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on May 17, healthcare and cannabis bureau chief Corinne Cardina and Motley Fool contributor Keith Speights discuss how big this potential market for younger kids could be.

Corinne Cardina: Let's do a similar back-of-the-envelope calculation for this younger age group for the market and contracts. What do you think about that?

Keith Speights: Yeah, this is, of course, it's a broader age range so you would expect the market would be bigger and you'd be right, the market is substantially bigger. The younger age group represents a really big market opportunity for these companies.

There are around 48 million kids in the U.S. who are ages 11 and below. And so even if we assume just one dose, let's just say one dose is all that would be required because they are looking at lower dosing with the kids. So let's say that works out, and instead of the two-dose regimen that adults get, it'll just be one dose for children. Let's say one dose is needed to immunize these younger kids.

This is a market that's close, not quite, but close to one billion dollars on an annualized basis. Again, that figure would assume 100% vaccination rate.

That probably isn't going to happen. It remains to be seen what the actual vaccination rates might be in younger children, and this also won't be a winner-take-all market. You're going to see all of the major players target the younger markets.

But I think both Pfizer and Moderna (MRNA 0.91%) will do very well in the younger age bracket, and they're going to make a lot of money. It's not going to be a billion dollars, I don't think, but I think you're going to see both of these companies end up making in the hundreds of millions of dollars from targeting vaccines for this younger age group.

Corinne Cardina owns shares of Moderna Inc. Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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