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Vaccine Makers Up as Biden May Make Shots for Federal Staff a Must

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By Dhirendra Tripathi

Investing.com – Shares of vaccine makers rose Thursday on an NBC News report that the Biden administration plans to make it mandatory for federal workers to get Covid-19 vaccinations.

Moderna stock (NASDAQ:MRNA) surged over 6% while BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX), Pfizer 's (NYSE:PFE) partner in developing and marketing of their vaccine, gained more than 4%. Pfizer, a much bigger company than the other two with relatively less reliance on Covid vaccine sales, traded slightly lower. Johnson&Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), the only manufacturer in the U.S. with a single-dose vaccine, was down 0.7%.

The decision, if it comes, will be due to the surging Covid cases in the country. The world’s largest economy is averaging more than 150,000 new cases daily.

While Delta, the most rapidly-spreading variant of the original coronavirus, is now weakening in some states, several parts of mid-Atlantic and Mountain West continue to experience outbreaks. About 1,500 deaths are being reported every day.

The executive order, likely to be announced today, may also extend to contractors that work with the U.S. government. In doing so, the earlier requirement of testing will lose its relevance.

Moderna shares were also boosted by its Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel’s comments that the company is developing a single-dose vaccine that combines booster doses against Covid-19 and flu.

"Our number one priority as a company right now is to bring to market a Pan-respiratory annual booster vaccine, which we plan to always customize and upgrade," Bancel said during Moderna's R&D day for investors, according to Reuters.

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