Back to top

Image: Bigstock

ETFs to Shine on Pfizer's Impressive COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Read MoreHide Full Article

Pfizer Inc. (PFE - Free Report) and BioNTech SE (BNTX - Free Report) have again posted encouraging updates related to their coronavirus vaccine candidate, BNT162b2. The duo’s two-shot vaccine has been observed to deliver 100% efficiency and robust antibody responses in participants aged 12-15 years old with or without previous evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, the results surpassed the previously recorded ones in vaccinated participants aged 16-25 years old, and were well tolerated, per the company’s press release.

The Phase 3 trial included 2,260 adolescents 12 to 15 years of age in the United States. Notably, 18 cases of COVID-19 were observed in the placebo group in the trial while none were reported in the vaccinated group.  The companies aim at submitting these data to the U.S. FDA and the European Medicines Agency at the earliest to apply for an expansion of the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and EU Conditional Marketing Authorization for BNT162b2.

Meanwhile, the companies are also conducting a trial to study the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on a two-dose schedule (approximately 21 days apart) in three age groups, children aged 5 to 11 years, 2 to 5 years, and 6 months to 2 years. It has started dosing the 5 to 11 year-old cohort last week and aims to begin dosing the 2 to 5 year-old cohort next week.

In another encouraging development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently informed that the coronavirus vaccines developed by Moderna (MRNA - Free Report) and Pfizer /BioNTech decrease infections by 90% in people who have been administered with both the vaccine shots.

Commenting on the study, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that “the authorized mRNA COVID-19 vaccines provided early, substantial real-world protection against infection for our nation’s healthcare personnel, first responders, and other frontline essential workers,” per a Reuters article.

The CDC study covered 3,950 people in the United States who were given either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine during mid-December to mid-March. The participants in the study were mostly essential workers, including healthcare personnel and first responders from six states, namely Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas and Utah.

The study also highlighted that the vaccine reduced risk of coronavirus infection by 80% two weeks or more after being administered the first of the two vaccine shots. It also has been found to prevent asymptomatic infections.

BioNTech has informed that the companies are increasing the manufacturing capacity of their COVID-19 vaccine to 2.5 billion doses by the end of 2021, per a Reuters article.

ETFs to Shine Bright

The worsening coronavirus crisis has increased desperation among investors over the accelerated distribution of the coronavirus vaccine to develop herd immunity. In such a scenario, Pfizer’s progress in coronavirus vaccine is going to raise investors’ optimism.

Thus, let’s take a look at ETFs with high exposure to Pfizer that can gain from the recent development:

iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE - Free Report)

The fund provides exposure to U.S. companies that manufacture prescription or over-the-counter drugs or vaccines. It holds 45 stocks in its basket, with Pfizer making up for a 17.6% share. The product has AUM of about $353 million. The fund charges 42 bps in fees and expenses. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) (read: J&J ETFs to Shine Bright as FDAGrants EUA for Coronavirus Vaccine).

First Trust Morningstar Dividend Leaders ETF (FDL - Free Report)

This ETF replicates as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield of the Morningstar Dividend Leaders Index and holds 95 stocks in its basket. Pfizer holds 7.5% weight in the fund. The product has amassed $1.59 billion in its asset base. Expense ratio is 0.45%. The fund has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (read: ETFs in Focus Post Mixed IBM Q4 Earnings).

iShares Evolved U.S. Innovative Healthcare ETF (IEIH - Free Report)

This fund employs data science techniques to identify companies with exposure to the innovative healthcare sector and holds 251 stocks in its basket, with Pfizer making up for a 5.9% share. The product has AUM of about $35.1 million. The fund charges 18 bps in fees and expenses (read: ETFs to Tap Amgen's Drive for Cancer Deal).

First Trust Nasdaq Pharmaceuticals ETF (FTXH - Free Report)

This fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield, before fees and expenses, of the Nasdaq US Smart Pharmaceuticals Index and holds 31 stocks in its basket, with Pfizer making up for a 4.4% share. The product has AUM of about $19.1 million. The fund charges 60 bps in fees and expenses. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (read: Pharma ETFs in Focus Post Q4 Earnings).

Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox?

Zacks' free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.  Get it free >>