Why Moderna and BioNTech Slipped Today

What happened

There wasn't any monster, world-shaking news about our current pandemic on Tuesday, so the prices of coronavirus stocks Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) and BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) didn't move all that much. On the whole, however, Thursday's developments tipped more negative than positive, and the shares of the two companies ended up falling marginally on the day.

So what

Taking the good news first, President Joe Biden announced Thursday that all Federal employees will be required to either prove that they've been vaccinated or face a tough set of health safety protocols. This should push recalcitrant workers to get either the Pfizer/BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine.

Child wincing as he receives a vaccination shot.

Image source: Getty Images.

This closely follows New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's remarks that all state employees will have to be vaccinated by Labor Day. If they're not, they'll be subject to weekly tests for COVID-19. This also plays into the hands of the two biotechs.

On the down side, in Biden's announcement, the President made a general request of state and local officials that they offer $100 bounties for unvaccinated people to get their shots. More so than the new federal and New York state mandates, this starkly illustrates the extreme reluctance of a still-large part of the U.S. population to get inoculated.

Now what

That unwillingness isn't good for BioNTech and Moderna, as their current fortunes remain tied to those coronavirus jabs (sprawling Pfizer, with its huge portfolio, is an exception). Both companies have promising development projects in the works, but none are likely to hit the market anytime soon.

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Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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