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Vaccine Makers Gain After Fox News Anchors Become Jab Supporters

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Investing.com – Shares of vaccine makers rose Tuesday after Fox News anchors endorsed vaccinations amid a growing outbreak of coronavirus infections connected to the highly contagious Delta variant. 

Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), rose 8.5%, leaning the group. It is also getting a boost on its upcoming addition to the S&P 500.  

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) rose 1.5%, a gain that could also be partly attributed to its likely $5 billion settlement in the opioid cases being pursued against the company in various states.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) was up 3.6% and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX), its partner in the manufacture of mRNA vaccines, rose 3%.

One big change was a pair of comments from Fox News personalities urging people to get their shots. “If you have the chance, get the shot, it will save your life,” Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy said during his show on Monday.

His colleague and Fox News host Sean Hannity also asked viewers to take the pandemic “seriously” and said he believes in the “science of vaccines.”

The remarks are in contrast to Fox host Tucker Carlson, whose show is the highest-rated on cable in the U.S. and a platform for him to dabble in anti-vaccination conspiracy theories.

The divergence of views between Fox anchors comes amid resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and elsewhere, mostly because of the spread of the Delta variant, a strain more than twice as contagious as earlier iterations of the virus.

Infection rates are rising, particularly in the South and Midwest, where skepticism toward vaccines – and to most policies of the Democratic administration – runs highest. The number of new cases across the U.S. hit its highest one-day mark in over two months last week.

While the Biden administration vaccinated more than half the U.S. population with at least one dose in quick time, subsequent progress has been tough to come by because of vaccine hesitancy, which has been reinforced by disinformation on social media platforms.

The federal government has accused social media platforms including Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) of providing platform for vaccine disinformation, something Facebook has denied.

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