Stocks of Zoom video-calling software plunged about 15 percent this morning when news of a promising vaccine candidate against COVID-19 was announced.
Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech today announced that their vaccine candidate appears to be over 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, impacting the value of a company that has gained popularity in a year of lockdowns and quarantines.
Pfizer and BioNTech suggested that their mRNA-based vaccine trials showed “proof of concept” for COVID-19 in participants with no prior evidence of infection.
Pfizer Chairman Dr. Albert Bourla said it was a “great day for science and mankind” when the news sent Zoom shares into free fall. Amazon and Netflix shares also fell three to six percent after the announcement.
The pandemic changed the way citizens around the world work, learn and socialize, with video software becoming increasingly important for everyday life as more and more people were under government-imposed lockdowns to stem the spread of the disease.
Prior to today’s postponement, Zoom shares had risen more than 600 percent this year to date, while Amazon had gained nearly 80 percent and Netflix nearly 60 percent. Zoom shares seemed to recover slightly during trading prior to the IPO.
“The more dangerous the corona virus makes personal interaction, the more valuable Zoom is,” twittered Justin Wolfers, professor of economics and public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.
“So Zoom’s stock market crash may signal that traders believe we are making progress in the fight against the virus – like today’s news of a potentially effective vaccine.
The news about the vaccine candidate also led to positive movements in airline and cruise ship stocks, both of which were hit hard by the pandemic. A reflection of Zoom’s downturn was Peloton, an exercise bike company, whose shares fell 13 percent.
Zoom $zm’s shares fell due to the vaccine news. pic.twitter.com/bhrWMmpda5
– Richard Chambers (@newschambers) November 9, 2020
Pfizer has gained more than 11%, the COVID vaccine from Pfizer is 90% effective according to the latest findings.
Other notable winners:
Cruise shipping companies
Meanwhile the WFH/stocks are dramatically lower in the inland
– Rebecca Jarvis (@RebeccaJarvis) November 9, 2020
In a media release, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that they intend to apply for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as soon as the next safety milestone is reached, which is expected to be in the third week of November.
The companies said they could produce up to 50 million doses of vaccine in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021 according to current forecasts, although testing is still ongoing.
Donald Trump, who lost last week’s presidential election to Democratic candidate Joe Biden, responded to Twitter with an all-caps response, writing: “SHARE MARKET REVENUES, VACCINE SOON TO COME. REPORT 90% EFFECTIVE. such great news!”
The broader scientific community expressed a healthy skepticism about the vaccine and felt that more data were needed to independently confirm the results of the companies’ analysis.
“The two companies… point out that the study participants are ethnically different, which is good, but says nothing about the age of the study participants,” said Prof. Eleanor Riley, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
“If a vaccine can reduce serious disease and death, and reduce the population of … …and enable the population… it must be effective in older and more senior members of our society.
Prof. Riley added: “We also do not yet know the severity of the cases observed in the study, whether infection or infectivity was prevented or how long immunity is expected to last. But I think we have reason to be cautiously optimistic”.