Pfizer Inc (PFE) lost -0.47 percent on Wednesday. An agreement has been reached between the European Commission and duo of Pfizer/BioNTech SE (BNTX) (down -2%) for the supply of 200 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine, with an option for an additional 100 million doses. The companies are expected to “start deliveries by the end of the year on the basis of clinical progress and regulatory approvals,” the two groups stated.
The second wave of Covid-19 threatens to lead to a further recession in the fourth quarter of 2020 in Europe amid recent good news on the vaccine front. But European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde cautioned on Wednesday of over-optimism. At the annual Sintra forum, held in virtual form this year, she said that “the latest vaccine news seems promising, but we can still face repeated cycles of accelerating the spread of virus and thus reinforcing lockdowns before widespread immunity has been acquired,”
It indicated that at its December meeting, the ECB would likely raise the amount of its asset purchases in order to increase its support for the economy. “With regular shutdowns and restarts, the recovery will not be linear, but unpredictable.” Therefore, it would be important to “close the gap until vaccination is well advanced and the recovery can establish its own dynamic,” she argued. In order to adapt to the evolution of the pandemic, the asset buyback programs of the ECB “can be dynamically modified. Therefore, they will probably remain the key instruments for changing our monetary policy,” she said.
The BioNTech SE (BNTX) and Pfizer Inc (PFE) partnership agreement is focused on the extensive range of vaccines to be produced in Europe, including contracts already signed with AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) (up 2.5%), Sanofi-GSK and Janssen Pharmaceutica, and fruitful exploratory negotiations with CureVac and Moderna. This diversified vaccine portfolio will allow Europe to be well prepared for vaccination once it has been proven that vaccines are safe and reliable.