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Fourth COVID-19 Vaccine Shot Shown Less Effective
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The Quick Take

  • H.C. Wainwright has a Buy rating and a $366 per share price target on BioNTech.
  • H.C. Wainwright reiterates its Buy on BioNTech on news that a fourth dose of its COMIRNATY COVID-19 vaccine appears to provide little protection, reported analyst Robert Burns in a Jan. 19 research note.
  • The fourth dose increases the number of neutralizing antibodies to higher than that seen after the third dose, but the infection rate among boosted participants only decreases slightly when compared to non-boosted participants, preliminary results from the study at Israel's Sheba Medical Center show.
  • These results coincide with the study finding, published in a late 2021 New England Journal of Medicine article, that the COMIRNATY boost shows reduced efficacy against Omicron but slightly increased protection against Omicron when compared to non-boosted people.
  • BioNTech stated it could deliver an Omicron variant-targeted vaccine by March 2022.
  • H.C. Wainwright expects BioNTech to remain a competitive participant in the respiratory disease vaccine sector.

The announcement from Sheba Medical Hospital that the fourth shot of BioNTech SE's (BNTX:NASDAQ) COMIRNATY vaccine against the coronavirus is only minimally effective, highlights that a new vaccine targeting the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is becoming increasingly needed. BioNTech is working on such a vaccine, aiming to deliver it by March of this year.

Looking forward, there could be as many as three rounds of booster shots over the next two years, Burns noted, depending on how prevalent the virus is and how long effectiveness of current vaccines lasts.

The future vaccine market, according to Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson, will be dominated by the vaccine developing incumbents, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Merck. However, Burns noted that H.C. Wainwright & Co. remains confident in BioNTech's market position, "particularly given its relationship with Pfizer and applicability of its technology to development of vaccines for diseases beyond COVID-19, notably influenza."

Also, though, Burns pointed out, the overall demand for COVID-19 vaccines will likely drop if the virus becomes endemic.


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Disclosures for H.C. Wainwright & Co., BioNTech SE, Jan. 19, 2022

I, Robert Burns and Raghuram Selvaraju, Ph.D. , certify that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about any and all subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views expressed in this research report; and 3) neither myself nor any members of my household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies.
A research analyst of the firm and/or the research analyst’s household has a financial interest in and own the securities of BioNTech SE (including, without limitation, any option, right, warrant, future, long or short position). As of December 31, 2021 neither the Firm nor its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of BioNTech SE.
Neither the research analyst nor the Firm knows or has reason to know of any other material conflict of interest at the time of publication of this research report.

The research analyst principally responsible for preparation of the report does not receive compensation that is based upon any specific investment banking services or transaction but is compensated based on factors including total revenue and profitability of the Firm, a substantial portion of which is derived from investment banking services.
The Firm or its affiliates did not receive compensation from BioNTech SE for investment banking services within twelve months before, but will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report.
The Firm does not make a market in BioNTech SE as of the date of this research report.

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