Why Novavax Stock Got Pummeled Today

What happened

We should spare a thought for the poor Novavax (NVAX -6.19%) which, despite notable success with its coronavirus vaccine Nuvaxovid, has generally not received much love from investors. That dynamic was very much in evidence on Wednesday when market participants drove the vaccine specialist’s price down by over 6% on a day when the S&P 500 index fell by a relatively light 0.8%.

So what

Wednesday was generally a good day in the fight against the coronavirus, but it wasn’t a good day for Novavax.

The main downer for the biotech was the Food and Drug Administration’s granting of Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for bivalent boosters of both Modern‘s Spikevax and Pfizer/BioNTech’s Comirnaty.

This means that, as ever, Moderna and the Pfizer/BioNTech team remain the front runners in the nearly two-year-old Great Covid Vaccine Race. Novavax’s shot — which differs from its two rivals in that it’s protein-based rather than developed from mRNA technology — only won its first approval in mid-July.

Now what

Meanwhile, data indicate that the coronavirus threat continues to abate, at least for the moment. Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are all trending down in many parts of the globe, including in the US

In fact, early on Wednesday no less an authority than the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confirmed this in uncertain terms in a press briefing. Although he cautioned that new omicron variants could make Covid more of a threat, he characterized the latest figures as showing a “welcome decline” of the global health scourge.

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