Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

This Recent FDA Approval Is for a Pfizer Vaccine That You'll Probably Never Need

By Keith Speights and Brian Orelli, PhD – Aug 28, 2021 at 6:02AM

Key Points

  • Pfizer recently won FDA approval for TicoVac, a vaccine for preventing tick-borne encephalitis.
  • The tick that spreads the virus isn't endemic to the U.S., so most Americans probably won't ever need the vaccine.

Motley Fool Issues Rare “All In” Buy Alert

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

It's not the company's COVID-19 vaccine.

The big story for Pfizer (PFE 1.29%) this week was the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the company's COVID-19 vaccine. However, Pfizer also recently won FDA approval for another vaccine. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on August 18, 2021, Motley Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli discuss this approval and why it's a vaccine that most Americans will probably never need.

10 stocks we like better than Pfizer
When our award-winning analyst team has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

They just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Pfizer wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

 

*Stock Advisor returns as of August 9, 2021

 

Keith Speights: Now there's some other Pfizer news. The company announced last week, I think toward the end of last week, that the FDA had granted approval for one of its vaccines that has nothing to do with COVID-19.

This is a vaccine that it's highly unlikely that most Americans will ever need. Brian, what's the story here with this Pfizer FDA approval for a vaccine that probably most of us will never need to get at all?

Brian Orelli: The vaccine is called TicoVac, it's for tick-borne encephalitis. Encephalitis is a viral infection of the brain and nervous system. Then it's tick-borne means that the virus is coming from after you get a bite from a tick. It's not endemic in the US, but it is seen in more than 35 countries across Europe and Asia.

This vaccine is almost as old as I am and was first distributed in 1976. Pfizer has been working with the US Army to get it approved. I think the main reason here is because the military, that are serving overseas will now be able to get the vaccine in the US.

Previously they had to go someplace else where it was approved to actually get their shot and their boosters, and that didn't make a lot of sense for the military. Now they can get their vaccine doses here in the United States before they go overseas. Long story short, I don't think this is going to move the needle for Pfizer in any material way.

Speights: I have no guess what sales this vaccine would pull in for Pfizer, but it does show that even big companies like Pfizer don't always just go after the blockbuster products.

A lot of these big drugmakers have large product lineups that have quite a few products that don't necessarily generate a whole lot of sales, but they still have a market. If they can make money off of them, it's worth pursuing and that's why Pfizer has done this, it received this FDA approval.

Orelli: I imagine it's probably not that much work they have plenty of data that already showed that the vaccine worked and it obviously got approved in other countries and so it's just a matter of presenting that to the FDA.

Sounds like the US Army made probably a financial deal where the US Army paid for some or all of that application. I think it probably doesn't really cost Pfizer that much, even if they're not making very much, that the net will be a positive for Pfizer.

Speights: Yeah. If for some reason this tick ever makes its way into the US, we'll have a vaccine ready for us.

Orelli: But not in a big enough supply for all of us. [laughs]

Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Nearly 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Pfizer Stock Quote
Pfizer
PFE
$50.13 (1.29%) $0.64

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
349%
 
S&P 500 Returns
115%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 12/01/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.