COVID-19

The upside of the vaccine rollout for the companies making shots

Andy Uhler May 3, 2021
Heard on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Karen Andersen, who covers biotech at Morningstar, says the potential sale of booster shots to ward off variants of COVID-19 could be profitable for Pfizer and Moderna. Matic Zorman/Getty Images
COVID-19

The upside of the vaccine rollout for the companies making shots

Andy Uhler May 3, 2021
Heard on:
Karen Andersen, who covers biotech at Morningstar, says the potential sale of booster shots to ward off variants of COVID-19 could be profitable for Pfizer and Moderna. Matic Zorman/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Some of the big pharmaceutical companies that developed COVID-19 vaccines including Pfizer and Moderna are reporting earnings this week. They’ll likely enjoy some reputational equity based on the rollout to the American public, according to Karen Andersen, who covers biotech at Morningstar.

“Definitely on the reputation side. I mean, we’ve definitely talked about how these companies are building up goodwill,” Andersen said.

And they may be able to capitalize on that goodwill fairly quickly. “There are many policymakers who want the federal government to negotiate Medicare drug prices, which would substantially bring those down, and that’s something that drug companies are trying to avoid if they can,” said Vivian Ho, who teaches health economics at Rice University.

The vaccine rollout could also help these companies when seeking federal approval for new products. “From the FDA’s perspective, it gives them a lot more confidence in the safety and the efficacy of the kind of the underlying technology,” Andersen said.

That means it’s possible companies could get approval faster for those products than they would have otherwise. Looking ahead, Andersen said, the potential sale of booster shots to ward off variants of COVID-19 could be profitable for Pfizer and Moderna.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

Need some Econ 101?

Our new Marketplace Crash Course is here to help. Sign-up for free, learn at your own pace.