Vaccine Makers Gain as Pfizer-BioNTech Seek OK for Second Booster

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Vaccine  Makers Gain as Pfizer-BioNTech Seek OK for Second Booster

By Dhirendra Tripathi – Shares of vaccine makers traded higher Wednesday after Pfizer-BioNTech (NYSE: PFE ) (NASDAQ: BNTX ) sought U.S. FDA’s emergency use authorization for a second booster shot of their COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 65 and older.

The news of the companies approaching the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was first reported by The Washington Post Tuesday.

Shares of Pfizer and its partner BioNTech were up 1.7% and 7%, respectively. The development guided rival Moderna's (NASDAQ: MRNA ) shares also higher. They rose 11%.

The submission to the Food and Drug Administration includes data collected in Israel, where a second booster is authorized for many people over age 18.

The vaccine makers have for long argued for more boosters, saying additional doses will be needed for new virus variants that emerge. That reasoning didn’t find much acceptance, given vaccine hesitancy amid questions about how many shots would be enough.

Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci and other U.S. health officials have also extended the case for a fourth shot many times, suggesting one might be needed for the elderly and to prepare for the possibility of another surge.

With fresh infections in China surpassing 2021 levels, the defense for another booster has been bolstered.

Pfizer last month said 2022 sales of its COVID-19 vaccine may not top its current forecast of $32 billion, a 13% decline from 2021 levels, according to Reuters.

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