Pfizer Shares Plunge as Raw Material, Supply Chain Worries Hit Delivery Targets

Supply chain concerns have diluted Pfizer's stock days after the pharma giant laid down a timeline for its use around the world. The stock fell 1.74 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company would ship only half of the COVID vaccines it originally planned this year.

In a report that threw cold water on rising vaccine optimism said early batches of the raw materials, which Pfizer needs to meet the target of reaching 100 million vaccine doses before the end of the year, had failed quality standards. The report added that this forced the vaccine leader to slash this year's targeted delivery to 50 million doses.

"There are several factors which have impacted the number of doses estimated to be available in 2020 ... For one, scaling up a vaccine at this pace is unprecedented, and we have made significant progress as we have moved forward in the unknown," Pfizer said in a statement.

Pfizer YouTube Grab

Costly System of Storage and Transportation

Pfizer stock has a market capitalization of $223 billion. The stock had soared after the company acquired an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for their coronavirus vaccine. Pfizer developed the Covid-19 vaccine along German drugmaker BioNTech.

Earlier reports had raised fears that Pfizer vaccine, which is made with the mRNA technology, would be priced high due to a complex and costly system of storage and transportation. The vaccine needs deep-freezing from the time it is rolled out until it reaches warehouses and finally to the end-user.

While Pfizer's vaccine needs a storage temperature of minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit, Moderna's vaccine can be stored at 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

UK Authorizes Vaccine Use

Vaccine storage
Some of the vaccines need to be stored at -80 degrees Celsius for it to be potent (representational picture) YouTube/ Immunization Academy

The U.K. became the first country to authorize Pfizer's vaccine on Wednesday. The US had already given orders for 500 million vaccine doses.

Pfizer's shares dropped as much as 2 percent intraday on Thursday after it said there were problems with the raw material supply. The fall came a day after the shares jumped 5 percent following the news that Britain had authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for public use.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 eased from all-time highs to end 0.1 percent lower at 3,667, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.3 percent at around 29,969 and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.2 percent.

Related topics : Coronavirus