- Shares of companies that benefitted from the pandemic rallied Friday amid the discovery of a new coronavirus variant.
- The stock prices of vaccine makers surged, including Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech.
- Stay-at-home stock plays like Zoom Video and Peloton also jumped as new lockdowns loom.
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Shares of companies that benefitted from the pandemic rallied Friday as the discovery of a new coronavirus variant in South Africa raised alarms and triggered lockdowns.
BioNTech said it is already studying the new variant, including how it interacts with its vaccine. Along with vaccine partner Pfizer, the German biotech giant said it will be able to ship a new version of their shot within 100 days if deemed necessary, according to a spokesperson.
The new variant, B.1.1.529, has been identified mostly in Botswana and South Africa, as well as Hong Kong, according to the World Health Organization.
Some experts have voiced concerns the high levels of mutation in the virus might make it more infectious and able to inhibit the body’s immune response, as Insider previously reported. For now, there are no sufficient findings to prove this claim.
Austria and Slovakia have already imposed lockdowns as cases spike. The Netherlands ordered bars and restaurants to close at 8 p.m., and Belgium imposed a work-from-home mandate for four days a week except for essential workers.