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Should You Worry About Novavax's Vaccine Delay?

By Adria Cimino - Updated Jun 23, 2021 at 8:33AM

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Let's look to where the company might generate sales.

Investors expect Novavax (NVAX 2.00%) to file for Emergency Use Authorization for its coronavirus vaccine candidate soon. But the filing won't come as soon as everyone had hoped. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on May 28, 2021, healthcare and cannabis bureau editor and analyst Olivia Zitkus and Fool.com contributor Adria Cimino discuss whether the recently announced delay in Novavax's filing might hurt eventual vaccine sales.

Olivia Zitkus: Let's talk about a few slow rollers in the COVID vaccine race that we've been talking about for over a year now. Yeah. Top of mind for me is Novavax. They released their Q1 report on May 10. And in that report, the company outlined that it's still not quite ready to file with the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization. Could you explain what's going on here? Is there a reason to be worried? I mean, Novavax was I think one of the best healthcare stocks, if not the best healthcare performer of 2020. There might still be people hanging on to those gains who are wondering if they have reason to be worried. [laughs]

Adria Cimino: I would say it's disappointing but it's not worrisome, is what I would say. They had to show that their facilities can manufacture product on a commercial scale. All facilities can do that now. They have to complete final phases of testing to show the consistency of their processes. This is all part of their filing, and Novavax said it didn't expect to finish by the end of June. So just it wanted to give itself that little bit of a comfort. Rather than racing to be done or disappointing investors, they'd rather just extend and say, ''O.K., we're going to aim for the third quarter.'' So that's what they did. I don't think it's going to be much of an issue anyway. They already have their order from the U.S., and the U.S. already has enough vaccine doses for this year. The U.S. has actually been donating doses. So I really don't think it's a big deal and it's still in the near term. We're still going to have the conclusion of this whole Novavax story. Europe still needs doses, and they are having discussions with the European Commission, so that's a good sign there. If they can get something there, that will be great. So there's still a lot of reasons to be positive. There's reason to be positive for Novavax.

Adria Cimino has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Olivia Zitkus has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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