10 Investor Questions About COVID-19, Answered


The COVID-19 outbreak has lastly subsided within the U.S., however biotech buyers nonetheless have loads of lingering questions in regards to the virus and what to anticipate within the months and years forward.

On Thursday, Financial institution of America analyst Geoff Meacham answered 10 of the commonest COVID-19 questions he is heard as of late.

1. Is a BA.2 variant spike within the US inevitable, and what would it not seem like?

Meacham stated U.S. outbreaks of COVID variants have usually occurred every week or two after European outbreaks, however the U.S. presently has a good degree of immunity and will not get hit as onerous by BA.2.

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2. What do future new case curves seem like?

As of now, he predicts there will likely be periodic sweeping waves of latest variants that unfold globally with a steadily reducing proportion of extreme outcomes.

3. Who wants a 4th dose?

Moderna Inc MRNA and Pfizer Inc. PFE every have fourth doses authorized by the FDA for folks over the age of fifty, however Meacham stated the world will probably begin relying extra on on-demand therapeutics, comparable to Pfizer’s Paxlovid, slightly than frequent booster vaccinations.

4. Do children below 5 want vaccines, and can they be obtainable?

Each Pfizer and Moderna have a path to vaccine approval for kids below 5. Given the shortage of extreme COVID outcomes in younger youngsters and the comparatively low vaccine utilization fee amongst children ages 5 to 11, Meacham stated he expects an especially low utilization fee for vaccines even when they’re ultimately authorized for kids below the age of 5.

5. What has been the early expertise with Paxlovid?

At this level, Meacham stated doctor suggestions on Paxlovid is restricted and anecdotal, and it has been tough to exactly assess what advantages the drug is offering.

6. Is there an urge for food or want for one more vaccine choice?

Novavax, Inc. NVAX is in search of FDA approval for its NVX-C0V2373 vaccine candidate. Since extra greater than 70% of U.S. adults have already been vaccinated and most of the the rest aren’t seeking to be vaccinated, Meacham stated the marketplace for extra vaccines is restricted at this level.

7. Are masks mandates a factor of the previous?

Meacham stated he believes broad masks mandates are probably completed, however extra focused masking guidelines throughout outbreaks will probably nonetheless be used.

8. As we loosen up restrictions in colleges, can we count on transmission inside colleges to drive new spikes?

He stated there may be little proof that faculty transmission is a key driver of worldwide COVID-19 spikes.

9. What has been discovered within the FDA paperwork behind the Pfizer vaccine approval?

Regardless of an extended checklist of remoted adversarial occasions amongst vaccine take a look at sufferers, Meacham stated there’s nothing within the not too long ago launched FDA paperwork suggesting the vaccines are unsafe or ineffective.

10. Do reviews that the sturdiness of the Johnson & Johnson JNJ vaccine really compares effectively to the mRNA vaccines when it comes to safety from extreme instances convey J&J again into the combo?

Meacham says real-world knowledge suggesting Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is demonstrating surprisingly sturdy real-world sturdiness could also be flawed, and the corporate’s potential alternative would probably be restricted anyway by the identical headwinds Novovax is dealing with.

Benzinga’s Take: COVID-19 is not going away, however indicators that the vaccines are efficient in decreasing extreme outcomes means the world ought to hopefully proceed to get again to a semblance of regular.

For buyers of Moderna and Pfizer, it stays to be seen simply how ceaselessly boosters will likely be required to guard the world and simply how prepared folks will likely be to remain totally vaccinated.


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