Moderna crash wipes out $22B in value after Merck’s COVID pill triggers vaccine stock plunge


Shares of Covid-19 vaccine makers collapsed Friday morning after pharmaceutical giant Merck announced it would seek regulatory approval for a first-of-its-kind treatment against the disease, sparking more than $30 billion in losses for a slew of stocks that headed up much of the market’s pandemic rally.

Shares of Moderna plunged as much as 15% Friday morning by 11 a.m. EDT, wiping out more than $22 billion in market value and making it the day’s worst-performing stock in the S&P, which instead ticked up 0.1%.

Meanwhile, Pfizer partner BioNTech and Novavax (whose Covid-19 vaccine is still not approved in the United States) plummeted 13% and 18%, respectively, representing another $12 billion in combined market value lost.

Even shares of Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, which are both much larger businesses less sensitive to Covid-19 developments, given their wide product offerings, dipped as much as 3% Friday morning.

The rout started in premarket trading immediately after Merck announced it would ask U.S. regulators for emergency authorization of its antiviral pill to treat Covid-19, Molnupiravir, setting the stage for what could become the market’s first oral antiviral treatment for the disease.

Merck also disclosed interim research has shown the pill halved the risks of hospitalization or death when given to patients at risk of severe illness, helping shares surge 9% after the announcement to add nearly $18 billion in market value.

Thus far, Covid-19 vaccines have proven to be highly effective in preventing serious illness and the market’s best defense against the virus—making them a massive boon to a slew of businesses heading up their development. Moderna forecasts about $19 billion in sales from Covid-19 vaccines this year, while Pfizer expects the shots will help pull in about $33.5 billion.

However, that still hasn’t stopped critics from lashing out against the long-term viability of such gains. Last month, Bank of America sparked one of the biggest selloffs in Moderna’s history after saying future sales expectations don’t justify the company’s current valuation, wiping out about $20 billion in market value. In its note, Bank of America warned more intense competition as Covid-19 research advances marked one of the biggest risks to Moderna stock prices.


Despite the Friday plunge, Moderna is still the S&P’s best-performing stock this year, having skyrocketed nearly 270% as the company’s Covid-19 vaccines became widely available across the world. Still, shares are down about 30% from a peak set just last month.


There are several other antiviral treatments in development for use against Covid-19. Pfizer is testing one, as are Swiss pharma giant Roche and Boston-based Atea Pharmaceuticals.

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  1. There is a new kid on the block. Watch out. Time for the pharmaceuticals to get their share of the pie.

  2. This can only help the antivax group. Now there is a reason not to take the jab. We need this in Antigua as soon as available to help the people who refuse to Vax. Don’t be stupid Gaston, get this for our country, as soon as available. Don’t let your pride stop the healing and health of our country.

    • @Billy+Bob…#Scurvy was a deadly disease to the Europeans, once they began to cross the Atlantic. Our foreparents simply gave them lime and other citrus fruits, and voila #scurvy was contained and cured.

      Antigua the Land of Natural Medicinal herbs with and environment that controls this virus once it begins to use the animals body(animals are being vaccinated too. BTW, do you think, that there are Antivaxx Animals too 🤣😂🤓).

      Don’t get me wrong, this fucking virus is real and deadly. So too are weapons of wars that kills, injures millions all while making these purported first world Nations and their International conglomerates rich, rich, rich!

      Those in control of this epidemic, pandemic, pandemic already admitted COVID-19 is a #WAR.

    • I dont have to take a pill to fight covid there are natural ways to build and boost the immune system. You should look into that instead of jumping to take every experimental drug out there sir but good luck with that😂

  3. It’s ivermectin tweaked and rebranded. Very similar results if you look at the legitimate studies and not the one by Merck. Merck had to discredit its 50cent pill so it could make a new version that costs hundreds or thousands. In the end it’s another money grab. Pharma now rules the world. Rev 18:23

  4. What a wicked world , instead of thinking of saving lives we think about profiting from it. These companies greed in delaying the issuing of the vaccines to poor countries gave the anti-vaccine and misinformation groups times to root themselves .

    • If you’re trying to imply that the vaccine save lives….it doesn’t so you are in the misinformation group.

  5. And yet sheep think it’s about covid and a cure. And I want to see if others not gonna realize that there is no way Gaston Clown took anything

    • Regardless if proof right infront some of these people eyes, they will still believe what they want to. 🤷🏽‍♂️

    • Indigenous, I agree with you. Gaston claim he get booster when it’s not available to people under 65 or immune compromised. He hype it up so others can fall in line. All the governments that pushing for vaccine mandate is about money, stock market and perks they receive from the pharmaceuticals. Frankly, they don’t care if we live or die. Sad, evil and depressing world we live in. That’s why we should get on our knees and ask God to deliver us.

      • He get the vaccine when it wasn’t available, he get the booster when it wasn’t approved. What next, he have the cure for aids in his fridge?

  6. What’s the difference between the pill and the vaccine? Both come from companies , can we trusting one over the over ?

  7. I want to know why these vaccine companies doing so well when they had promised to be selling at break even prices?

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