💉 Johnson & Johnson: Out Of The Vaccine Race?

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💉 Johnson & Johnson: Out Of The Vaccine Race?

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have halted the use of the Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Covid-19 vaccine amidst concerns that those injected with the vaccine were at risk of  developing blood clots. (Tweet This)

Background
In 2020, the race to save the world began as pharmaceutical companies rushed to create a Covid-19 vaccine. The company that got there first would stand to earn billions in addition to being hailed as the savior. Drug regulators around the world relaxed the rules for vaccine development to help a larger number of companies try different approaches to get to the solution.

Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazeneca, and Johnson & Johnson were among the notable names that pushed forward. J&J was one of the last pharma companies to announce a vaccine that was supposed to help people develop immunity against SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that’s behind Covid-19.

And what’s more, only a single shot of this vaccine was enough to develop immunity compared to a two-shot schedule that had to be ensured for the other vaccine candidates. With a 66% effective rate, it still was far behind the corresponding rates of its competitors. Pfizer and Moderna were up in the 90% range and AstraZeneca was touching the 80% rate.

What Happened?
J&J’s single-dose vaccine was administered to over 6.8M people. So far, blood clotting has been observed in 6 people with one woman having died from it and another hospitalized in critical condition. Reportedly, the blood clot occurred in a vein that drains blood from the brain.

Health care professionals have been ordered to not administer the J&J vaccine as of yesterday. The CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will discuss the vaccine’s future today. The ACIP consists of 15 scientific and medical experts that form an independent board that advises the CDC on vaccines.

Whatever the outcome of the meeting, J&J will be on the tenterhooks publicly and financially. Australia has issued a moratorium on a planned purchase of the vaccine. Europe is evaluating a possible action as well. Another company tackling a similar issue is AstraZeneca but that is after administering 190M doses.

If the J&J vaccine is halted for good, there is a clear financial implication given the billions of dollars spent developing it. For now, legal headache is not a concern since vaccine developers have been granted immunity from legal action by the Trump administration under the PREP Act and that protection lasts until 2024. Is that fair? Now, that’s an ethical dilemma if ever there was one.

Market Reaction
JNJ closed the day at $159.48, down 1.34%; in pre-market trading, the stock is down 0.61%.

Company Snapshot 📈

JNJ $159.48 −2.16 (−1.34%)

Analyst Ratings (18) BUY 67%  HOLD 33%  SELL 00%

 


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Later Today 🕒

  • Before Markets Open: JPMorgan Chase & Co Earnings (JPM)
  • Before Markets Open: Bed Bath & Beyond Inc Earnings (BBBY)
  • Before Markets Open: Wells Fargo & Co (WFC)
  • Before Markets Open: Goldman Sachs Group Inc Earnings (GS)
  • 6:00 PM IST: Import price index

Fun Fact of The Day 🌞

The wood frog can hold its pee for up to eight months.


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