Below is an excerpt from a complimentary research note by our Healthcare Team of Tom Tobin, William McMahon, and Justin Venneri published on 2/3/21. We are pleased to announce our new Sector Pro Product Health Care Pro. Click HERE to learn more.
We continue to monitor the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker for updates on vaccine doses distributed and administered and created a “Target Date” tracker to help visualize when we’ll get to 50MM Americans inoculated.
Press coverage has focused on the delays, bottlenecks, and frustration of elected officials in various states; however, the data show steady improvement, as the target dates have come in with the recent acceleration to >1MM “jabs” per day.
As of the latest update, ~56MM doses have been distributed and 33.9MM administered (~6.4MM people having received 2 shots). The current pace is a) faster than anything we’ve ever seen with flu vaccinations in the past, and b) sufficient to get “us” to 50MM by the end of March, and 100MM in June. When $JNJ’s single shot hits the market, this will accelerate, and at the same time we’ve heard from both $MRNA and $PFE that hundreds-of-millions of doses are coming… by the end of May.
If the high-risk are protected, the hospitals will clear out, and things can truly start to revert toa more normal state. Whatever that state ends up being, there will be a more substantive return to in-person care and push to work through the backlog of deferred/elective procedures (e.g., in orthopedics).
It’s going to be an exciting remainder of 1Q21, and everything should look a lot clearer to the masses in 2Q.
Pfizer (PFE) provided some helpful color on COVID-19 vaccine development and dynamics during its 4Q earnings call yesterday. We were listening for manufacturing commentary, as you know we’re tracking the target dates for the first 100MM doses distributed and administered closely.
But if you care about PFE more broadly, it’s interesting to note that Pfizer's new rare-disease meds Vyndaqel, Vyndamax reach blockbuster threshold despite pandemic hurdles. Specific comments from the call (emphasis added):
We foresee no issues with delivering the commitments we have made and expect to deliver 200 million doses to the U.S. by end of May, 2 months earlier than our contractual obligation.
We now believe that we can potentially deliver at least 2 billion doses in total by the end of 2021. This is based on the updated fixed-dose label, continuous progress improvements and expansion at our current facilities, and adding more suppliers as well as contract manufacturers.
We believe it is increasingly like it but a durable COVID-19 vaccine revenue stream like is happening in flu is a potential outcome for a couple of reasons. First, there likely will be a need to boost regularly to maintain high levels of vaccine-elicited immune response. Second and maybe more important, we may need to boost to counter the threat of the emerging mutant strains we have seen with variations in the spike receptor-binding domain side. ... there is an increasingly probable scenario when it could become necessary within the next 2 years to boost COVID-19 vaccinated patients with a vaccine encoding the spike variant.
Over 30,000 HCPs have been trained by Pfizer alone in the recent month or so to be able to confidently vaccinate these -- vaccinate people.
If [COVID-19 vaccination] is a routine, the decision will come as with all other vaccines and medicines, the strength of the data. I think that this is why I made before the comments that given that we are first could mean that we are vaccinating a lot of people right now with the first doses.
Given that we have such a strong safety and efficacy and database in an open choice situation, we will get the vast majority of the share of choices. But I think will come a reality likely after in 2022, when the governments do their whole vaccination scheme. And also in that year, there will be ample, I believe, capacity. So volume will not be a case. Even if everyone wants to get 1 vaccine, I think, will be enough to make this 1 vaccine.
With variants, we are embarking on a study, which will give a boost after 6 months. And possibly also compared with a 12-month dose, we'll compare the wild type, the current vaccine with a variant vaccine, likely based on the 484 amino acid from Brazil and South Africa.
I think that given the data are so strong with our vaccine, as we alluded to, it may very well be that a third boost at a proper time point is sufficient. And you'd continue to monitor variant. But we will be prepared if needed, with data, as you said, around early summer.