With Pfizer on the right track, investors see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Pfizer, one of the numerous pharmaceutical companies tapped by the US government to produce a vaccine for the coronavirus, made an announcement this morning regarding their current vaccine candidate, produced in tandem with BioNTech. In their clinical trial of 43,538 participants, at least 94 of which were confirmed to have COVID-19, Pfizer’s vaccine candidate showed an efficacy of 90% or higher within a week of the second dose. If these numbers hold steady, this vaccine candidate could prove to be an unprecedented success for the medical community, and indeed, the world.
“I believe this is likely the most significant medical advance in the last 100 years, if you count the impact this will have in public health, global economy,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla told CNBC.
On the news of Pfizer’s incredible success, hope has bloomed among investors, leading to a massive jump in individual stocks and indexes. At the opening of trading this morning, the Dow Jones Industrial average jumped 1,646 points. Industries that have been hit especially hard by the pandemic such as airline and cruise companies saw a return to form on the markets, with some major companies increasing in value by 20 to 30%. Even AMC movie theaters, one of the most severe victims of the pandemic, has seen a resurgence of hope, with their stock values shooting up a shocking 80% to $4.45 a share.
“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen,” Bourla said.
Despite the good news, US officials have urged citizens to keep their expectations level, as more testing is still required to ensure the vaccine is actually as effective as claimed. Even once the vaccine is approved, channels for distribution and storage will also need to be worked out.