Americans Getting More Comfortable with COVID-19 Vaccine but Compliance Still Unclear

November 12, 2020 9:37 AM EST
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Data from a recent survey shows that up to 70% of Americans have expressed plans to take a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the next year. These numbers look promising, according to Jefferies analyst Michael Yee.

According to the survey conducted on November 10 and 11 from 600 adults, about 70% of respondents plan to get a vaccine in the next year with this number falling to 40% - 50% when it comes to getting vaccinated in the next 3-6 months.

“This appears to be pretty good news so far and as long as COVID cases remain high into early 2021, and especially if vaccine data continue to come out pretty strong (PFE and we think MRNA next) - and FDA, stakeholders, and Fauci publicly make very positive statements, we think Americans will increasingly gravitate towards uptake to aid in returning participation in a normal life again. From a timing perspective, we forecast emergency filing in Nov, EUA approval in Dec, access to nursing homes and first-responders through Q1:21, and broader availability to USA by Spring/Summer 2021. We estimate MRNA will be close to these timelines as well,” Lee said in today’s note.

For comparison purposes, Lee adds that only 50% of Americans take a flu vaccine in any given year.

The second survey on the vaccine, conducted by BofA’s Global Biopharma team, focuses on the compliance rates once the vaccine is out. Accordingly, over 50% of respondents - including 25 general practitioners (GPs) and 25 infectious disease (ID) specialists - said that they would wait at least a quarter to vaccinate their at-risk patients. Moreover, they believe that “only” about 60% of their patients may be vaccinated by YE21.

“We also note that various industry surveys suggest only 49-73% of people plan to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We believe that unknown vaccine prescribing and compliance rates may leave many people at risk even by YE21, aside from potential supply constraints, extreme cold chain requirements and logistical hurdles. Therefore, we think the need for COVID-19 diagnostic testing will continue,” writes BofA analyst Derik de Bruin.

Therefore, testing tailwinds are likely to continue until there is broad vaccine deployment for companies with sizable testing exposure (DGX, DHR, LH, HOLX, TMO, PKI, and QGEN).

“The latest data (11/10) from the ACLA shows that member labs have conducted on average ~391k molecular diagnostic (MDx) tests a day in Nov., nearly 60mn cumulatively, The COVID Tracking Project (not all states report all data) reported ~1.5mn / day in Nov. with resurgences in the US, from 1mn / day in Oct. when we published our updated COVID testing cheat sheet.”

The election of Joe Biden is likely to lead towards more testing and the pandemic is likely to get only worse by the time he is sworn in as the 46th president.

“Beyond COVID testing, we note that TMO & DHR also have bioprocessing & vaccine manufacturing exposure. TMO is also a leading vendor of ultralow temperature freezers,” concludes de Bruin.

Related Vaccine Stocks:

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ: AZN)
Merck (NYSE: MRK)
Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA)
Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX)
Pfizer (NYSE: PFE)
Sanofi (NASDAQ: SNY)

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