As 2021 nears an end, the world is getting ready for yet another pandemic year. The Covid-19 vaccine market is a battle over market share, amid the rise of the mysterious omicron strain.

So far, I think that the best vaccine stocks to invest in next year will be the same stocks as in 2021. The winners will most likely keep winning, and that means there is an opportunity for traders, even if they are showing up late. Let us look at the two vaccine stocks that skyrocketed the highest in 2021 and determine why next year may be more of the same.

1. Pfizer

It should not be too surprising for Pfizer to be seen as the best vaccine stock for next year and beyond. Its Comirnaty is the most widely approved in the world and the most bought by far, and nothing else even comes close to touching it. It held a 74% share of the United States market, and 80% of the Europe market as of Oct.

In total, management predicts as much as $36 billion in earnings from Comirnaty this year. In 2022, it expects around $29 billion, from the scheduled delivery of 1.7 billion doses of the vaccine. The fact that Pfizer may earn less from the vaccine next year than it did in 2021 should not scare investors, though.

The company is creating an antiviral pill for the COVID-19 virus called Paxlovid. On December 14, it confirmed the results of its newest phase 2/3 clinical trial, which has shown that adults that were treated with Paxlovid within five days of their first symptoms experienced an 88% lower risk of death or hospitalization when compared to placebo group. Pfizer has already shared the data with the FDA to help with the Emergency Use Authorization it applied for in Nov.

And the United States government has made a deal to purchase 10 million courses of the medication for $5.3 billion, which will be delivered in 2022. So even if Comirnaty earnings scales down next year, Paxlovid income might just be getting started, and that is another reason that Pfizer is the top COVID treatment stock.

2. Moderna

Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) is my choice for the second-best vaccine stock next year. Moderna predicts earnings between $15 billion to $18 billion from its Spikevax this year, with about 800 million doses delivered. Next year, depending on the strength of demand, that might reach as much as $22 billion.

In terms of how many doses are committed in existing supply deals, Pfizer is the No. 1, followed by the Serum Institute of India, according to data from Unicef. Moderna is the No. 3 in the world, making its vaccine much more in-demand than those of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. As its jab continues to be effective over time, the company’s overall performance against these two bigger competitors keeps improving, though it is not gaining any ground against its competitor Pfizer.

Moderna plans to make a pan-respiratory vaccine that could be administered as a yearly booster shot. Though the Moderna’s precursor vaccines to prevent any illnesses caused by influenza, coronavirus variants, the cytomegalovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus remain in clinical trials, the payoff might eventually be huge.

In effect, Moderna might one day dominate the global market for a yearly vaccine against the most common viral respiratory diseases. And that would be an opportunity worth billions, which is exciting for investors.

Author: Steven Sinclaire

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