COVID Vaccine Makers Under Pressure As White House Plans To End Coverage

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As COVID-19 cases drop and more activities resume, officials are now working to map out transition.

Shares of COVID-19 vaccine makers such as Pfizer (PFE), BioNTech (BNTX) and Moderna (MRNA) are under pressure on Thursday following a news report saying that the White House is planning for an end to vaccination and treatment coverage, moving more control of pricing and coverage to the healthcare sector.


The Biden administration is planning for an end to its practice of paying for COVID-19 shots and treatments, shifting more control of pricing and coverage to the healthcare industry in ways that could generate sales for companies – and costs for consumers – for years to come, The Wall Street Journal’s Stephanie Armour reported. The Department of Health and Human Services plans to hold a planning session on Aug. 30 that will bring together representatives from drugmakers, pharmacies and state health departments with a stake in a COVID-19 treatment industry, the author noted.

Both the Trump and Biden administrations always planned to shift the bill for COVID-19 shots and treatments from the federal government to individuals eventually. With COVID-19 cases dropping, more activities resuming and funding for the pandemic response running short, officials are now working to map out that transition, the publication added.

Publicly traded companies in the healthcare space include CVS Health (CVS), Centene (CNC), Cigna (CI), Health Net (HNT), Humana (HUM), Molina Healthcare (MOH), Elevance Health (ELV), UnitedHealth (UNH) and WellCare (WCG), while publicly traded companies with COVID-19 vaccines approved in the U.S. include Moderna, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and Pfizer and BioNTech.


On Wednesday, Cowen analyst Yaron Werber initiated coverage of BioNTech with a Market Perform rating. The company’s Comirnaty is likely to retain its 60% share of the COVID-19 vaccine market and as the endemic phase rolls out, its volumes to mirror annual flu trends, Werber told investors in a research note. BioNTech’s “deep” oncology pipeline is innovative “but requires validation and is still early in development,” the analyst added. Werber prefers better visibility on long-term Comirnaty and pipeline potential to get positive on the shares.


In Thursday afternoon trading, shares of Pfizer have dropped about 1.6% to $48.45, BioNTech has slipped almost 2% to $149.06, and Moderna’s stock has slid about 5% to $150.64. Also lower, shares of Johnson & Johnson have dropped almost 1% to $166.27.  

Originally Posted August 18, 2022 – COVID vaccine makers under pressure as White House plans to end coverage

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