New COVID-19 variants are making it harder to forecast the trajectory of the global pandemic, as well as the potential impact on vaccine developers’ stocks. Portfolio Manager and Research Analyst Dan Lyons and Research Analyst Agustin Mohedas help make sense of the latest clinical data and what investors should consider now.

Key Takeaways

  • Research shows that COVID-19 variants have reduced the efficacy of existing vaccines, but data also show that vaccines still provide protection against severe cases.
  • The variants may delay the goal of reaching herd immunity, especially if virus mutations allow for reinfection. However, new drug modalities are making it possible to quickly develop booster shots tailored for variants.
  • Stocks of COVID-19 vaccine makers have benefited in recent months. But the long-term value of vaccine programs could depend on whether the vaccine platforms can be deployed for other illnesses, such as influenza.