How the COVID-19 vaccine affected Pfizer and 5 other notable actions


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Although we like to think that public health and the economy are independent of each other, the reality is that they are inexorably linked. A strong economy allows us to have state-of-the-art medical treatment and research facilities, but at the same time, we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy population.

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When people are sick, they don’t go out and spend money, and economic activity slows down. This is exactly what we saw when the travel and entertainment related industries slowed down due to the pandemic.

Fortunately, the vaccines began to become available in less than a year – a period that seemed long but was actually lightning-fast compared to previous vaccines. It’s no surprise, then, that the companies that pioneered vaccine development have been generously rewarded with big increases in their stock prices. Some even saw two-year increases that were well into the triple digit range.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest names in vaccine development and how their stocks have evolved since the start of the pandemic and since the start of the COVID vaccine rollout.


BioNTech pioneered commercialized COVID vaccines in the United States. BioNTech partnered with Pfizer to produce what is often referred to as the Pfizer vaccine, which was the first COVID vaccine available in the United States. The two-dose vaccine is 95% effective, making it a key tool in preventing serious illness from COVID-19. .

Given BioNTech’s key role in the fight against the pandemic – and the fact that the company wasn’t really known beforehand – it’s no surprise that its stock (NASDAQ: BNTX) has more than quadrupled since March 2020. At the time, its shares were selling for $30.93, but have since risen 338% to over $135 per share. However, its shares have fallen significantly lately, down more than 45% in the past six months.

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Pfizer is a large pharmaceutical company that many people know for drugs such as Viagra. However, the company was instrumental in helping BioNTech develop the first FDA-approved COVID vaccine in the United States.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) stock rose accordingly, but not as dramatically as some of the other names mentioned here. Its stock has risen 62% from March 2020 to March 2022 and 44.83% since March 2021. Its stock has fallen slightly over the past month, although it is down only 1%.


Along with Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna is the other developer of a two-dose mRNA vaccine approved for use in the United States. Moderna’s vaccine is slightly less effective than the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, but with an efficacy of 94.1%, the Moderna vaccine still offers exceptional protection.

Recently, Pfizer and Moderna asked the FDA to approve the second boosters. Pfizer and BioNTech have sought approval for adults 65 and older, while Moderna is seeking approval for all adults.

Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) stock has done extremely well since the start of the pandemic with its stock up almost 550% since March 2020. It rose from just over $21 per share in March 2020 to over $321 per share in October 2021 However, the stock has performed poorly more recently – shares rose 0.88% overall for the year, but were down 57% % in the last six months. During this last period, its share price fell more than $183, closing at $138.20 on March 11, 2022.

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Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is a large pharmaceutical company that produces more than just vaccines. Many people are familiar with the Johnson & Johnson brand, but the company also owns brands such as Band-Aid, Neutrogena, and Tylenol. J&J developed a single-dose COVID vaccine that was initially seen as an important part of fighting the pandemic because recipients wouldn’t have to come back for a second dose.

But the vaccine was only 66.3% effective in clinical trials, compared to more than 90% for Pfizer and Moderna. This may help explain why Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has done the worst in the past two years of all the stocks mentioned here, up just 27.85%. Its variation over one year is only 7.58%. On the positive side, it has continued a slow and steady increase over the past six months.

Astra Zeneca

AstraZeneca has a two-dose vaccine which was approved for emergency use in the UK in early 2021. In November 2021, AstraZeneca announced that two billion doses of the vaccine had been administered. AstraZeneca’s (NASDAQ:AZN) stock has not performed as well as the other vaccines on this list, rising 42.62% from March 2020 to March 2022.

The vaccine is 76% effective according to the World Health Organization, which is good, but not as good as other vaccines in the United States. Additionally, the vaccine has been temporarily suspended in several countries due to concerns about rare blood clots.

Despite all of this, AZN shares have fared better over the past year with a 24.54% increase from March 2021 to March 2022.

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Novavax is an American biotechnology company that is developing a COVID vaccine. This vaccine is remarkable because, unlike the BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the Novavax vaccine is a protein vaccine. Although this vaccine is a protein subunit vaccine, recombinant protein vaccines have been around since the 1970s, which could be positive for those hesitant about mRNA vaccines.

Despite this development, Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) stock has been even more of a rollercoaster than Moderna. Its shares are up nearly 767.90% since the start of the pandemic, but down 64% last year. That said, Novavax stock sold for just $8.41 at the start of the pandemic, and in March 2022 it sold for almost $73.

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Methodology: For this article, GOBankingRates used data from Yahoo Finance to find out how the COVID-19 vaccine affected certain vaccine stocks/medical companies. First, GOBankingRates found the following for each company reviewed: (1) Closing share price for March 13, 2020; (2) Closing share price on March 12, 2021; (3) Closing share price on October 13, 2021; (4) Closing share price on February 11, 2022; and (5) Closing stock price on March 11, 2022. With these numbers collected, GOBankingRates then found the following for each stock: (6) two-year (March 2020 to March 2022) change in stock price ; (7) change over one year (March 2021 to March 2022) in the share price; (8) change over six months (October 2021 to March 2022) in the share price; and (9) one month (February 2022 to March 2022) share price change. All data has been collected and is current as of March 14, 2022.

About the Author

Bob Haegele is a personal finance writer specializing in topics such as investing, banking, credit cards, and real estate. His work has been featured on The Ladders, The Good Men Project and Small Biz Daily. He also co-runs Modest Money and is a dog sitter and walker.


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