If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, a fresh fear is gripping the markets.
No, I’m not talking about the Reddit army looking to squeeze every asset imaginable, which I spoke about on Fox Business last week (replay here).
I’m talking about the nasty variants of Covid-19 that are popping up and quickly spreading across the globe.
Why the impending panic? Because the variants are exposing a major weakness of most approved vaccines.
Since they only target a single spike protein on the virus, which I warned you about, they’re not nearly as effective in treating mutations.
- Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) vaccine is only 57% effective at preventing the South African variant, known as B.1.351.
- Novavax Inc.’s (NVAX) vaccine is only 49% effective against the same variant.
- Meanwhile, scientists from the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Columbia Universityfound that the Pfizer Inc.’s (PFE) and Moderna Inc.’s (MRNA) vaccines were 6.5 to 8.6-fold less potent against the South African mutation.
As Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in San Diego notes, “We see an unequivocal drop-off in efficacy [because of mutations].”
Newsflash: This “mutational drift” of efficacy will likely get worse from here. Why? Two reasons:
- The virus is rapidly mutating. The U.K. variant has a reported 10 mutations and the South African one has 17 mutations.
- Many of the mutations are in the spike protein, which is what the current crop of vaccines exclusively target. That means, as Los Angeles Times Reporter Emily Baumgaertner notes, “Because the current crop of vaccines train the immune system to recognize that [spike] protein… mutations there increase the likelihood that the virus will slip by undetected.”
What’s that mean?
I’ll let Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert connect the dot for us, “It’s really a wakeup call for us to be nimble, and to be able to adjust as this virus will continue for certain to evolve and to mutate.”
Indeed! And therein lies a market opportunity, which new data out today confirmed one of our latest recommendations can unequivocally address.
This data represents a major development, as you’ll see in a moment.
More importantly, it also points to even more important, market-moving news being imminent.
Let me explain…