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This Covid Vaccine Maker Is Eyeing 3 Billion Doses In 2022 As Variant Hotspots Emerge In Europe

BioNTech (BNTX) Chief Executive Ugur Sahin said Tuesday the company could make 3 billion doses of its Pfizer (PFE)-partnered Covid vaccine in 2022 — and BNTX stock popped Wednesday.




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Sahin offered the view during an interview with Bloomberg TV.

“In principle, we could further increase manufacturing capacity,” he said. “It depends on demand, it depends on factors such as if an additional boost to vaccinations is required.”

Also a boon to BNTX stock, the European Commission reached an agreement for 4 million more doses of the companies’ Covid vaccine over the next two weeks. Europe is currently battling Covid hotspots, prompting travel restrictions.

BNTX stock jumped 4.1% near 100.50 in morning trading on the stock market today. Pfizer stock inched up 0.8% near 34.70.

BNTX Stock: 2 Billion Doses Planned

Sahin says BioNTech and Pfizer have booked 1.3 billion orders, so far.

The companies plan to make 2 billion doses this year. The vaccine is a two-dose regimen, so that’s enough to inoculate 1 billion people. BNTX stock stands another chance of rising when Pfizer finishes shipping 300 million doses to the U.S. Europe has ordered at least 500 million.

On Wednesday, the European Commission said it added another 4 million doses to its order. The Commission hopes the additional doses will help “tackle aggressive variants” and improve the situation in Covid hotspots, President Ursula von der Leyen said in a written statement.

“This will help Member States in their efforts to keep the spread of new variants under control,” she said. “Through their targeted use where they are most needed, in particular in border regions, these doses will also help ensure or restore free movement of goods and people.”

Variants Test Covid Vaccines

The emergence of viral mutations continues to be a concern for investors in vaccine stocks, including BNTX stock. Pfizer and BioNTech are testing a third, lower dose of their original coronavirus vaccine as a booster shot. The companies also plan to study a vaccine specific to a variant discovered in South Africa.

Laboratory studies using the blood of vaccinated people and engineered viruses show coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna (MRNA) appear to be less effective against the South Africa mutation.

Meanwhile, Novavax (NVAX) said its coronavirus vaccine was 60% effective against that specific variant. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) — whose vaccine is authorized in the U.S. — says its drug is 57% effective at blocking the South Africa variant.

In related news, reports on Wednesday suggested President Joe Biden was preparing to order 100 million more doses of J&J’s one-shot Covid vaccine.

In morning action, J&J stock edged up 0.7% near 158.90. Novavax shares dipped a fraction, near 169.80. Moderna stock climbed 1% near 132.20. Meanwhile, BNTX stock is forming a cup-with-handle base with a buy point at 121.09 on its weekly chart, according to MarketSmith.com.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.

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