The coronavirus vaccine race is certainly heating up. Two main contenders have already announced interim efficacy results, with more significant news ongoing for several drugmakers developing COVID-19 vaccines. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on November 16, 2020, Corinne Cardina, head of the health and cannabis office, and Keith Speights, writer for Fool.com, talk about the top stocks of COVID vaccines to buy right now in light of the rapidly changing environment .
Corinne Cardina: We just talked about ultra-cold storage. This could cause distribution problems. Now, there is another vaccine candidate that you are watching closely and I don’t think ultra-cold storage will be that much of a hindrance for that. Can you tell us what it is?
Keith Speights: Sure. There are several leaders out there right now, and the one I’m really watching is Johnson & johnson (NYSE: JNJ).
Johnson & Johnson has an advanced stage vaccine. You don’t hear as much about them because they don’t broadcast as much about their vaccine, but they are in the late testing phase. A very large clinical trial, and their vaccine is not a messenger RNA vaccine. As such, it does not require ultra-cold storage.
But what really stands out about J & J’s vaccine candidate is that it is a single dose vaccine. If it turns out to be both safe and effective, it could really be a competitor if it hits the market with this advantage. The logistical challenges are not there, and because it is a single dose vaccine.
Corinne Cardina: Definitely, and we don’t think it’s a win-win deal. I think everyone expects a lot of vaccines to cross the finish line and hit the market, and we need them to get enough people vaccinated. Given that, are there any particular vaccine developers that you think really stand out as an investment? So looking at the stocks of Moderna (NASDAQ: ARNM), Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Johnson & Johnson, if you had enough money to buy a stock today, what would your choice be?
Keith Speights: I’m not going to answer that question directly, Corinne. The reason I won’t do this is because I realize that we have investors with different investment styles.
I’ll just say this: If you’re a conservative investor who really doesn’t want to take huge risks, you’re going to be better off with one of the bigger companies. I would say Johnson & Johnson is probably a top pick as well as a Pfizer, and I would run AstraZeneca (NASDAQ: AZN) in this mix too. I think any of these three leading companies in the coronavirus vaccine race would be a great choice for more conservative investors.
Now, if you are more of an aggressive investor, Moderna is definitely worth considering. Because of their pipeline, I think it could be very promising.
Then there is another one, it’s a little behind these leaders – Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX), the ticker there is NVAX. Novavax is much smaller than all the other leaders. They have a late candidate. Although it is already in the testing phase in the UK, they hope to start an advanced stage study in the US later this month.
And if they succeed, their success would increase that stock a lot more because it’s such a small biotechnology. Their market cap, I didn’t look at this morning, but it was around $ 6 billion, much smaller than Moderna or BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX). If Novavax is successful with its vaccine, then this is a stock that could really take off. So if you are an aggressive investor, this might be an investor to watch out for.