It’s been awhile since we stopped publishing a weekly linkfest about Covid-19. However a pandemic-related item this week is worth highlighting. In a study, researchers estimated that nearly 20 million lives were saved in 2021 due to the introduction of Covid-19 vaccines. Even if this number if off by a bit, it still constitutes a nearly unfathomable achievement.

The benefits of the Covid-19 vaccines were centered in the wealthiest countries where they were rolled out initially. The reduction in harm came both from the direct, and indirect, effects of vaccination. The paper points out that the inability to get vaccines to low income countries was a failure.

Source: The Lancet

None of this could have been possible without the efforts of a number of companies. Below is a chart of the market caps of some of the most prominent. Both Moderna and BioNTech saw big increases in their value over this period, but they are both well off of their mid-2021 highs.

Source: YCharts

Nobody knows when the next pandemic is coming or whether the mRNA platforms will be useful in other disease states. But for as bad as the pandemic was in the U.S. and elsewhere it could have been much, much worse.