The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said that it has established a possible connection between the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines of Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) and rare heart inflammatory conditions like myocarditis and pericarditis, according to Reuters.
However, the EMA also commented that the known and potential benefits of all authorized COVID-19 vaccines outweigh their risks.
The regulator reviewed over 300 cases of the heart conditions in the European Economic Area region (EEA), which includes the European Union, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein.
So far, 177 million doses of Pfizer’s Comirnaty and 20 million doses of Moderna’s Spikevax vaccine had been administered as of May 31.
The EMA concluded that Pfizer’s vaccine Comirnaty led to most myocarditis and pericarditis cases. (See PFE stock charts on TipRanks)
The regulator said that both heart conditions should be included in the list of side effects from both vaccines. Breathlessness, palpitations, and chest pain are some of the symptoms related to these conditions.
It added that these conditions occurred within 14 days from the date of the vaccination, with a higher number of cases reported in younger men after the second dosage.
After the findings, Pfizer made a statement, saying that both the reported conditions were “generally mild,” and people “tend to recover within a short time following standard treatment and rest.”
Furthermore, similar studies were conducted on vaccines from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and AstraZeneca (AZN). However, no link was found between these vaccines and similar heart conditions. The EMA has requested both companies to provide more data for further analysis.
Meanwhile, the EMA cautioned people with a prior history of the rare blood disorder, capillary leak syndrome (CLS), to refrain from getting the Johnson & Johnson shot after it reviewed three cases of CLS, which occurred within two days of receiving the vaccine.
In June, the EMA added CLS as a possible side-effect from AstraZeneca’s vaccines and advised people with similar pre-existing conditions against taking the shot.
The recent findings from the EMA could put pressure on vaccinations from these companies in Europe going forward. EMA’s safety panel advised healthcare practitioners to be aware of the post-vaccine symptoms as it continues to monitor the safety of the approved vaccines.
RBC Capital analyst Daniel Busby recently increased the price target on Pfizer from $43 to $44 (11.15 upside potential) and reiterated a Hold rating on the stock.
Overall, the stock has a Hold consensus rating based on 1 Buy, 9 Holds, and 1 Sell. The average Pfizer price target of $43.22 implies 9.1% upside potential from current levels. Shares of PFE have jumped 19% over the past year.
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