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Pfizer-BioNTech Covid Booster Shines As CDC Discusses Mix-And-Match Plan

BioNTech stock jumped Thursday after the company said its Pfizer (PFE)-partnered booster shot proved more than 95% protective against symptomatic Covid.




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The study involved more than 10,000 recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNTX) vaccine — half of whom received the booster. After nearly three months, there were five cases of Covid among those who received the booster, and 109 cases in the placebo group.

That puts the booster’s effectiveness at 95.6% against symptomatic Covid. Side effects were in line with previous testing data for the vaccine. Evercore ISI analyst Umer Raffat notes the results were from people who hadn’t naturally contracted the virus.

“Overall, this randomized data confirm what we know from (Food and Drug Administration) reviews so far: booster helps prevent symptomatic infection even in vaccinated participants,” he said in a note. But he cautioned that there isn’t data yet on protection against severe disease.

Still, on today’s stock market, BioNTech stock popped 6.3% to 286.36. Pfizer stock inched up a fraction to 42.86.

BioNTech Stock Rises On Booster Data

The news follows FDA authorization for Moderna (MRNA) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) booster shots late Wednesday. In the same breath, the FDA also gave its blessing to mix-and-match boosters — a strategy known by the scientific name heterologous boosting.

Pfizer and BioNTech, though, nabbed FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorization for their booster last month. The real-world test confirms the benefit of boosters amid growing concerns that the vaccines have become less effective in the face of the delta variant.

“Based on these findings we believe that, in addition to broad global access to vaccines for everyone, booster vaccinations could play an important role in sustaining pandemic containment and a return to normalcy,” BioNTech Chief Executive Ugur Sahin said in a written statement.

CDC Meets To Discuss Boosters

Today, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is meeting to discuss the J&J and Moderna boosters. This is a key step to launching those boosters. The potential for mix-and-match boosting could give BioNTech stock a longer runway.

If successful, recipients of the J&J vaccine can receive a booster shot at least two months after the first dose. Some Moderna vaccine recipients — including people age 65 and older, and otherwise at-risk adults — can get a booster at six months.

The CDC will also discuss the potential for heterologous boosting. That would allow someone who received the J&J shot to seek one of the messenger RNA boosters, for example. Someone who got the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine initially could received a Moderna vaccine.

BioNTech stock fell earlier in October. But recent booster news is sending shares closer to their 200-day moving average, according to MarketSmith.com. Likewise, Moderna stock has trended slightly higher over the last week.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.

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