Shares of several COVID-19 vaccine makers were sinking as of 11:38 a.m. ET on Tuesday. Pfizer (PFE 1.04%) stock was down 3.2%. Shares of Novavax (NVAX 5.16%) and Ocugen (OCGN 3.59%) were 4.6% and 6.8% lower, respectively.
You might think that these vaccine stocks would move higher with the reports of dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations throughout much of the U.S. due to the omicron variant. Some of the companies have even had good news in recent days. Pfizer, for example, received an expanded Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for boosters of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 12 through 15 on Monday.
However, investors are looking beyond the current environment, and they're envisioning a not-too-distant future where the pandemic is over and vaccines don't enjoy the high demand that they have now.
Are today's declines warranted? It's hard to know for sure. What we can know with certainty, though, is that each of these companies is in a unique position relative to the others.
Pfizer will be a surefire winner in 2022 as a company regardless of what happens with the COVID-19 pandemic. It already has major supply deals lined up for its COVID-19 vaccine and pill that will generate billions of dollars in revenue. Pfizer's lineup also includes multiple other growth drivers like blood thinner Eliquis and rare heart disease drug Vyndaqel/Vyndamax.
Novavax will supply at least 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine NVX-CoV2373 to members of the European Union in 2022. The company and its partner, Serum Institute of India, have also secured Emergency Use Listing for the vaccine -- a key prerequisite to shipping doses to member countries in the COVAX Facility.
Ocugen is in the most precarious position of these three companies. It's been waiting on a Canadian regulatory decision for COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin for months. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed a clinical hold on a planned phase 3 U.S. study of the vaccine. And while Ocugen filed in early November for U.S. EUA of Covaxin in children, it hasn't heard anything from the FDA yet.
Investors seem to be betting that the omicron variant could signal the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. That may or may not be a good bet at this point.
Regardless, what happens next is the most important thing for Pfizer, Novavax, and Ocugen. An environment where regular boosters are needed even with COVID-19 becoming endemic could still present significant opportunities for all three companies.