The share prices of several publicly listed live entertainment companies soared following an announcement this week that pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking emergency approval for a COVID-19 vaccine.
The news had a positive impact across the stock markets in the US. Companies operating in the live entertainment space, which have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, experienced the biggest jump in share prices. Last week, live music giant Live Nation confirmed that its third-quarter revenues were down 95% year-on-year, with quarter two having dropped 98 points.
Shortly after the vaccine announcement early this week, Live Nation – along with rival businesses Madison Square Garden Entertainment and CTS Eventim – saw a spike in their share prices by more than 20%, with Live Nation’s shares peaking about $72, the company’s best perfomance since March.
The dramatic increases subsequently dropped slightly, but the share prices closed higher than they did on the previous trading day.
Pfizer and BioNTech claim the vaccine is 90% effective in preventing people from contracting COVID-19. The two also say they have tested their vaccine on more than 43 000 people, with no serious safety concerns reported.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity,” Pfizer chairperson and CEO Albert Bourla said. “The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19.
“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development programme at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing overcapacity and economies struggling to reopen.”
If approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally this year, and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021. However, some challenges remain in getting the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine approved, manufactured, distributed and administered.
Despite this, the news has boosted optimism about the fight against the pandemic, and experts say the announcement also raises prospects of the other vaccines in development being successful.