Just when investors started to think that COVID-19 headlines no longer make a big impact on equities, news related to the spread of the delta variant of the virus hit the market with a vengeance. With concerns that the spread of this new variant could impact the economic rebound and more lockdowns going into effect all over the world, it’s clear that the market is still not immune to pandemic headline risk.

Naturally, vaccine stocks have been rallying on these headlines and could be in for more upside going forward as the world tries to stop the spread of these new variants. Keep in mind that if the companies producing COVID-19 vaccines can protect the public against new variants of the virus, it could lead to additional revenue for them. While Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) has been the king of vaccine stocks and is getting added to the S&P 500, there are other names that present a better risk-to-reward profile at this time.

Here are 3 vaccine stocks to buy now:

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)

While Pfizer stock probably won’t go vertical as Moderna has over the last few trading sessions, it’s still a fantastic long-term investment to consider adding and is a lot less volatile, which is certainly an attractive quality. As one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer has a diverse portfolio of established drugs in addition to its COVID-19 vaccine, which means that investors can rely on the company to deliver consistent earnings regardless of vaccine demand.

Pfizer is committed to delivering a billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021 and should generate $26 billion in vaccine revenue as a result. The new variants could also mean that people need repeat vaccinations in order to boost efficacy, which could keep demand steady for years. What’s also nice about this stock is that it trades at a much lower forward P/E ratio than peers in the large-cap biopharmaceutical sector. Finally, the stock currently offers a 3.89% dividend yield that is supported by steady cash flows, which makes it a great option for income investors.


Novavax is a clinical-stage vaccine company that has hit a few snags trying to get its COVID-19 vaccine NVX-CoV2373 through the global regulatory process. However, the company is planning to file for Emergency Use Authorizations in Q3 and could be one of the more underrated vaccine stocks to add at this time. All signs point towards Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine being effective, as it achieved 89.3% overall efficacy in a late-stage clinical trial that was conducted in the United Kingdom.

What’s interesting about Novavax’s vaccine candidate is that it relies on a protein adjuvant instead of the mRNA approach, which is easier to make and can be stored in a refrigerator. The company already has agreements to manufacture and distribute 100 million doses of the vaccine in the United States along with up to 180 million doses in countries like the U.K., Canada, and Australia after it receives regulatory approval. There’s also a lot to like about the company’s prospects with additional vaccine candidates for influenza and other infectious diseases. The bottom line here is that if you are interested in a vaccine stock that could have a huge move in the coming months, it might be worth adding shares of Novavax at this time.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

Sure, there have been a few negative headlines surrounding Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, but the reports of adverse events following the use of the company's vaccine are extremely rare. In fact, the FDA has noted that there isn’t enough data to prove the company’s vaccine causes the rare Guillain-Barre syndrome and that about 12.8 million people have received the company’s vaccine with only 100 suspected cases of the adverse reaction being reported thus far. Regardless of how you feel about the prospects of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, it’s still one of the premier pharmaceutical, medical device, and consumer health care products companies in the world.

The company saw its Q1 revenue increase by 7.9% year-over-year to $22.3 billion and could see even stronger earnings going forward as elective procedures rebound. Johnson & Johnson also has several key drugs like Stalara, Darzalex, and Imbruvica along with a strong pipeline of new drugs that investors should find attractive. Finally, the company’s dividend aristocrat status and 2.54% dividend yield absolutely make it one of the best vaccine stocks to buy now.

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