COVID-19 to get worse, Atea (AVIR) could prevent it

Atea (AVIR) could prevent an infection wave of which I predict we are seeing the beginning of a Covid-19 infection wave in the USA that will be even bigger than last fall/winter. 3 months ago Delta variant was not even 10% of the cases in America, but now it accounts for 83.4% of all cases.

All the signs I am seeing tell me we are poised to overwhelm our hospitals even sooner than we almost did in many parts of the country last fall/winter.

This will all create massive pressure for the USA government to expedite funding and remove roadblocks to the EUA of 2nd generation vaccine technology, new Covid-19 antivirals, Covid-19 treatments, and repurposed medications that also assist in reducing the severity of Covid-19, but especially hospitalization and death.

Let me break down what I am seeing:

Pandemic fatigue is everywhere. People, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, want to return and maintain a sense of normalcy. Most people are not taking any precautions. They think they are vaccinated so the pandemic is over for them.

This pandemic fatigue is perfectly expressed by governors in right leaning states that have taken swift action against schools imposing mask mandates, and have even gone so far as to threaten to cut funding if they do impose masks upon students. These governors never want to repeat 2020 again and they feel the people that would re-elect them feel the same. Specifically Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah have banned mask mandates. Unfortunately, many of these states have the highest number of unvaccinated teenagers so they are at greater risk for catching and spreading Covid-19 amongst themselves and even among the vaccinated.

Unfortunately, physicians are seeing more and more young people filling up their hospital beds. For example, Arkansas reported today that they only have 8 ICU beds left in the entire state. Yes, just 8.

A Children’s Hospital in Florida recently reported they were at 116% capacity.

We are heading into schools re-opening and starting in late September the cooling of the weather will see more people spending increasingly more time inside, which will greatly increases the risk for transmission. Plainly states without masks in many schools we can expect the infection rate to exponentially accelerate across many parts of the United States.

While children have no pratical protection against COVID-19, except for masks and social distancing, vaccinated adults are not entirely out of the woods either.

Pfizer’s CEO recently reported that vaccine effectiveness drops to around 84% after 4-6 months. Research suggests that effectiveness will drop up to 6% every 2 months. Israel, which is exclusively using Pfizer’s vaccine, reports it is only 39% effective at preventing infection, however, it is 88% effective at preventing hospitalization. This may not remain true as immunity continues to drop as Israel races to implement a third booster shot.

But more concerning Israel has reported that Lambda variant is showing that three mutations on its spike make it 150% more resistant to antibodies produced by the vaccine. In plain English this means, it is 1.5X more effective at infecting a fully vaccinated person. The more people that get infected the more people will end up in hospitals.

Lambda variant is present in 44 states now. Japanese researchers believe under certain conditions that Lambda may spread faster than Delta variant. It is the main variant in South America and some researchers think it may become the dominant variant in America in a matter of months, based on how quickly it spread in South America.

Moreover, the first among that were vaccinated are now experiencing facing reduced vaccine effectiveness as Delta is surging and poised to continue to surge. In December 2020 Phase 1A prioritized the vaccination of healthcare personnel and long-term care facilities (aka generally very old people). Due to low vaccine supply and early snags in vaccine logistics many of the people on phase 1A received their 1st vaccine sometime between December and January with most having finished their 2nd dose in January or February. As I see it phase 1A all have hit their 6 month mark in August….as in right now. The other phases of those who reciever vaccine priority will start to lose even vaccine efficacy in September-December, the veey months that are looking like they are going to be worse than their 2021 counterparts.

Compounding the strong likelihood for even more cases of Covid-19 and increased hospitalization are those who decline to be vaccinated with the J&J, Moderna, or Pfizer vaccines. Many employers are mandating by September-October timeframe or sooner that all of their employees get vaccinated.

Prediction: People that refuse to work for a company that requires vaccination will find work in companies that do not require vaccination.

Literally, in the next few months we will see a shifting of the workforce as the unvaccinated begin to congregate in workplaces that are conducive with their decision to not become vaccinated. Already my work has lost 1% of it workforce since announcing just 7 days ago that there will be mandatory vaccination completed by mid September. Based on conversations with key in-the-know people at work we will see many more people leave in the next few weeks. I expect upwards of 10% will leave. Your company could be seeing the same effect if vaccines are mandated. Most people that are unvaccinated in America are so not from a lack of opportunity, but by choice. I agree many will comply and become vaccinated as they are told by their employers, “Resistance is futile, you will be vaccinated” to avoid losing their jobs. However, a late 2020 study out of Germany indicated as many as 30% of people would refuse mandatory vaccination. A December 2020 US study suggested that in many parts of the US a majority of people did not support employee-enforced vaccine mandates.

Now what will these unvaccinated people do? Will they seek work or live off government assistance? There is a strong link between people that are unwilling to become vaccinated and the likelihood they belong to a political affiliation that greatly reduces their willingness to receive government assistance. Accordingly, they will seek non-mandatory vaccine workplaces to continue to provide for their necessities of life.

It is also fair to assume that many of these anti mandatory vaccine businesses will not enforce mask rules or social distancing. It is doubtful they have invested in improved ventilation or air filtration which are two approaches validated by MIT researchers as essential to reducing the spread of COVID-19. An extreme example of this anti-vaccine mentality can be found in a Missouri taxi service that banned vaccinated or masked riders.

Now, non-vaccinated clientele and employees will begin to increasing gravitate to these types of businesses (out of necessity) they are going to create the perfect opportunity for repeated outbreak opportunities (and greater possibilities for the introduction of new and possibly more infectious variants) that will lead to even more cases and even greater hospitalizations. And all of this is lining up for the fall when we increasingly are inclined to spend more time inside.

As you can see I am clearly predicting a dire fall and winter ahead. I don’t think the stock market is realizing how bad this actually is going to be in America and other parts of the world. When the hospitals get close to getting overwhelmed, governments will be forced to institute another round of lockdowns. Again, because of pandemic fatigue they will resist until the absolute last moment to institute lockdowns, but they are coming. I predict by Thanksgiving.

The market is in for a shock this fall/winter as politicians will likely surprise investors by resisting shutdowns until the very last minute. Accordingly, I have purchase VXX calls and Spy puts.

But let’s you think, this guy is all doom and gloom I have tremendous hope for the future that in a mere 6-12 months we will develop the rights vaccines, the right antiviral drugs, the right treatments and discover the right existing drugs to absolutely crush Covid-19. We will conquer it and there are several publicly traded companies that I have identified that I think may paly a huge role in saving lives and ending this pandemic.

Dr. Fauci has mentioned the company and drug by name several times, which means it is definitely on his radar. AVIR has already received government funding, which means it is on the US government’s nice list. Roche has established a partnership with them based on phase 2 data and provided AVIR with around 322M in cash because their phase 2 data was so positive. By day 2 of treatment 80% of baseline viral load was reduced! They had a positive EPS of 34 cents last quarter. AVIR is a clear winner that is poised to become a leader in antivirals and may be an excellent acquisition target. Phase 3 results for their oral antiviral pill should be ready by end of year.

There is a low share count of 92M authorized shares and they currently have a tremendous 833M cash on hand to fund their pipeline.

This article was written by u/Commodore64__.