Malikai McPherson, 16, receives Pfizer's vaccine at a vaccination clinic in Melbourne, Florida on May 17, 2021.
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
  • Shares of Pfizer and BioNTech soared on Monday after the FDA officially approved their Covid-19 vaccine.
  • The vaccine developed and distributed by the pair was the first to receive emergency use authorization late last year.
  • Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine will be marketed as Comirnaty and is approved for people 16 years and older.
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Shares of Pfizer and BioNTech surged on Monday after the FDA officially approved their Covid-19 vaccine.

Pfizer jumped as much as 5% to near record highs, while BioNTech was up as much as 11% in Monday trades.

The vaccine, which was the first to receive emergency use authorisation late last year, is now the first and only vaccine to receive full approval from the agency. The vaccine is approved for use in people over the age of 16, while it remains under emergency use authorization status for those under the age of 16.

Pfizer was approved for emergency use in South Africa in March 2021. South Africa has ordered more than 30 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which will be used to achieve 38% of government's herd immunity target. 

Pfizer's first-mover advantage in the Covid-19 space helped the company gain more than $30 billion in revenue from its vaccine in 2021. That revenue figure could move even higher going forward as the company evaluates a third booster shot, which is expected to be administered next month.

The vaccine will be marketed under the brand name Comirnaty, and the FDA hopes the approval will nudge unvaccinated people to get vaccinated.

"We recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated," acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement. "Today's milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the US."

Covid-19 vaccines developed by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson will still be covered by their emergency use authorization. A full approval of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine is expected in the next few weeks.

Pfizer's success in the Covid-19 vaccine space, thanks in part to its partner BioNTech, has helped the company's stock price soar above its previous record last seen in 1999. And from a business standpoint, the extra cash from the vaccine is now affording Pfizer the ability to go shopping to revamp its drug pipeline and reduce the impact of a future patent cliff.

On Monday, Pfizer put some of that cash to work and announced the acquisition of Trillium Therapeutics, a early-stage clinical drug company working on blood cancer treatments. The acquisition cost $2.3 billion and Pfizer expects it to add to its growth prospects in 2026 and beyond.


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