What happened

There wasn't any monster, world-shaking news about our current pandemic on Tuesday, so the prices of coronavirus stocks Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) didn't move all that much. On the whole, however, Thursday's developments tipped more negative than positive, and the shares of the two companies ended up falling marginally on the day.

So what

Taking the good news first, President Joe Biden announced Thursday that all Federal employees will be required to either prove that they've been vaccinated or face a tough set of health safety protocols. This should push recalcitrant workers to get either the Pfizer/BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine.

Child wincing as he receives a vaccination shot.

Image source: Getty Images.

This closely follows New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's remarks that all state employees will have to be vaccinated by Labor Day. If they're not, they'll be subject to weekly tests for COVID-19. This also plays into the hands of the two biotechs.

On the down side, in Biden's announcement, the President made a general request of state and local officials that they offer $100 bounties for unvaccinated people to get their shots. More so than the new federal and New York state mandates, this starkly illustrates the extreme reluctance of a still-large part of the U.S. population to get inoculated.

Now what

That unwillingness isn't good for BioNTech and Moderna, as their current fortunes remain tied to those coronavirus jabs (sprawling Pfizer, with its huge portfolio, is an exception). Both companies have promising development projects in the works, but none are likely to hit the market anytime soon.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.