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Should Investors Worry About Coronavirus Vaccine Supply?

So far, more than 26 million doses of vaccine have been administered, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those, about 14 million are the Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) vaccine and 11 million are the Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) vaccine. But supply still has been short, considering demand. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Jan. 22, 2021, healthcare and cannabis bureau chief Corinne Cardina and contributor Adria Cimino discuss the current situation facing healthcare providers and those seeking vaccination.

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Corinne Cardina: Another one of the biggest risks with these new variants is the potential for increased transmission. Of course, in the U.S., we're vaccinating. I think everyone is expecting the vaccination to start happening faster. With Joe Biden's administration, he has said he is aiming for 100 million vaccinations in the first 100 days. They actually said that that's about doubling what we had previously been doing since the vaccines became authorized. They're trying to double it. We're hoping that can happen, but if the new cases are happening even faster than before, we're fighting an out-of-control disaster with the vaccination. The bad news that I have to share is that there have been a lot of headlines about the supply of vaccine doses. A lot of people were able to sign up for appointments. I'm sure you know how frustrating that is just to get the appointment and they're seeing their appointments canceled because their provider has run out of doses. There's a big supply crunch. President Biden has said he plans to invoke the Defense Production Act to combat the pandemic. But as far as I know so far, it's going to be boosting manufacturing of PPE [personal protective equipment] and supplies needed to administer the vaccines as well as testing, but not necessarily the doses themselves. My question is about the doses and the supply. Should we be worried that the vaccine doses are not keeping pace with the planned vaccination schedule and how might that impact some of these vaccine makers?

Adria Cimino: Yeah, I think that we should continue to be worried because until we see the initial results from President Biden's plan, this still is going to be a concerning issue. It's true that hospitals and vaccination centers have been complaining about not having enough doses. It's been a yo-yo. For instance, they've gotten a certain number of doses this week -- with a large number -- and so they plan ahead thinking, "Next week, the same thing will happen." In fact, next week we'll have hardly any doses and then have to cancel appointments. It really has been a problem. I expect that that probably will continue a little bit until things fall into place and we see exactly how the new plan is going to work. Cities and states have said they don't have any clarity of really what to expect. When there isn't that communication, it can really be a problem. They've also mentioned lack of funding, the lack of communication, so those are two very important issues that we'll want to see exactly what's going to happen once the president puts the plan into place. We have, I don't know, several weeks to see what exactly happens.

Adria Cimino has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Corinne Cardina has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna INC. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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