Alfred Lam, CFA, Senior Vice-President and Chief Investment Officer
Marchello Holditch, CFA, CAIA, Vice-President and Portfolio Manager
CI Multi-Asset Management
Christmas is almost upon us, which means we will soon close the book on 2020. It was a tough year for everyone as the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed our lifestyles. Thankfully, humans are creative and adaptive, and we were able to overcome many challenges. As we write this, Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have announced a vaccine candidate that is 90% effective in clinical trials. They expect to seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shortly and produce 50 million doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021. Since each person will require two doses, about 675 million people could potentially be immunized by the end of 2021. Canadians will have access to this vaccine as our government pre-ordered 20 million doses from Pfizer in the early stage of development, but it will take time for the majority of the population to be vaccinated as orders are met. Keep in mind, even if you don’t receive the vaccine right away, your risk of contracting the virus will still be lower as others do. Also good news is other companies, notably Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca PLC, are seeing progress with their vaccines and have started reporting clinical trial results, meaning the world is not limited to Pfizer’s supply. It’s possible that we could return to “normal” by late next year.