Which Stocks Will Benefit When a COVID-19 Vaccine Is Approved?

Investors can shop for COVID-19 vaccine stocks among pharmaceutical, drugstore, and travel companies.

Ruchi Gupta - Author

Nov. 10 2020, Published 2:22 p.m. ET

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While it often takes years to develop a vaccine, there’s a rush to bring a COVID-19 vaccine to the market as soon as possible. If you are shopping for COVID-19 vaccine stocks, you may want to know which companies are leading the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine. Which stocks will benefit when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved?

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The world is counting on a vaccine to end the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed many lives and shaken economies. Currently, there are dozens of COVID-19 vaccine candidates at various stages of development around the world. Companies developing COVID-19 vaccines have to get safety and efficacy right. 

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Which companies are leading in the COVID-19 vaccine process?

Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson have COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the final stages of testing. Pfizer is collaborating with BioNTech on its COVID-19 vaccine project. On Nov. 9, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their vaccine candidate proved to be more than 90 percent effective in protecting people against COVID-19.  The other COVID-19 vaccine stocks you may consider are Inovio, Merck, and Sanofi. 

Which COVID-19 vaccine companies have promised product safety?

The rush to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has led to some concern that politics and not science is driving the process of developing a vaccine. For example, the Trump administration wants to take credit for any vaccine success. President Trump wondered why Pfizer waited until after the presidential election to release the positive data about its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. 

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Perhaps Trump thought that Pfizer’s vaccine announcement would have helped his campaign if it had come out earlier. If a COVID-19 vaccine is rushed for political reasons, some people are concerned that it may not be safe. 

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To address public concern about vaccine safety over political interference, Moderna, AstraZeneca, BioNTech and Pfizer, Novavax, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson have pledged to only seek government approval for COVID-19 vaccine candidates that are proven to be safe and effective through Phase 3 trials.

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Which stocks will benefit when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved?

A COVID-19 vaccine approval should be a boon for many companies. First, the makers of successful vaccines should see incremental revenue. Besides vaccine developers like Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Moderna, some other COVID-19 vaccine stocks investors may consider include Becton Dickinson and Company, McKesson, Walgreens, and CVS Health. 

Becton Dickinson and Company supplies the kits used in administering vaccines. Therefore, the company should see an increase in the demand for its syringes and needles when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved. McKesson will be at the center of the government’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

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Walgreens and CVS Health have a deal with the federal government to administer COVID-19 vaccines to people living in long-term care facilities nationwide. Therefore, these drug retailers stand to see a revenue boost from COVID-19 vaccine approval.

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Besides the companies involved in the making, distributing, and administering a COVID-19 vaccine, airline, casino, and other epicenter stocks also stand to benefit from COVID-19 vaccine approval. Travel has reduced, hotel stays have diminished, and attendance at casinos has declined amid the COVID-19 pandemic as people try to avoid crowds. 

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A vaccine approval promises to bring back travel and entertainment demand. Investors can also find good COVID-19 vaccine stocks in the oil sector. Oil companies could also benefit from a vaccine because an increase in travel will boost the demand for fuel.

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When is a COVID-19 vaccine expected?

If you’re in the market for COVID-19 stocks, it helps to know when vaccines will start rolling out. Companies can apply for emergency approval of vaccine candidates that have proven effective in clinical trials. Emergency approval would allow companies to bring the vaccine to the market quickly. 

Pfizer is on track to seek FDA approval for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate as early as this month with the vaccine possibly entering the market in December. Generally, the mass distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine is expected to start in the first quarter of 2021.

When COVID-19 vaccines are ready, priority is expected to be given to sick people. Health care workers, police officers, and teachers are also expected to be among the initial groups to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.


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