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Will Moderna and Pfizer Continue to Lead After the COVID-19 Pandemic Ends?

By Keith Speights and Brian Orelli, PhD – Nov 6, 2021 at 6:04AM

Key Points

  • Pfizer and Moderna seem likely to maintain their dominance in the COVID-19 vaccine market after the pandemic ends.
  • The two companies have a big head start and solid manufacturing capabilities.
  • However, there should still be room for others -- like CureVac and Novavax -- to be successful.

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Probably, but there will be room for other players in the COVID-19 vaccine market, too.

Pfizer (PFE -0.63%) and Moderna (MRNA -1.76%) are dominating the global COVID-19 vaccine market. But can they continue to do so once the pandemic is over? In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Oct. 27, Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli address this question, as well as the potential for other companies to succeed.

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Keith Speights: Now, here's one that I think that we both can talk about here. Joe asked, "Where do you see the COVID market going if the pandemic becomes an epidemic?" He also says, "Will Moderna and Pfizer continue to lead? Where will CureVac (CVAC -5.31%) and Novavax (NVAX -6.50%) fit in in such a scenario?" That's a good question.

Brian Orelli: I wonder whether he means endemic which means it's around all the time. Pandemic would be it comes and then goes. Endemic means it's like the flu. It's around every year, you are never going to actually get rid of it.

I think Moderna and Pfizer are definitely going to continue to lead because they have such a head start, not just in the ability, doctors having experience with it, but also their ability to manufacture quite a bit of it. I think they will definitely continue to lead.

Is there room for Novavax and CureVac? I think there probably is.

I think that it's really going to depend on whether we need more boosters. We don't really know what our memory B cells are going to do and what the virus is going to do. That's basically, the virus mutates enough, then our memory B cells can't take care of the virus then it will be a problem. If the virus doesn't mutate enough and then we're all vaccinated and we have fairly good memory B cells, well then we get infected with the coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2 and our bodies just take care of it and maybe we get sniffles or something.

But it's not a major issue. We don't worry about the cold. I don't think we'd have much problems. I don't think there was going to be that big of a market for boosters if people aren't dying from COVID-19.

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

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