Sonic (ASX: SHL) share price hits 52-week high amid COVID booster switch
Image source: Getty Images
the Sonic Healthcare Ltd The share price (ASX: SHL) hit a 52-week high amid a rule change regarding when Australians are eligible to receive their COVID-19 booster vaccination.
Sonic says its staff play a crucial frontline role in the fight against the pandemic, with its labs testing tens of thousands of people for COVID-19 every day. As of mid-November, it had performed a total of 36 million COVID-19 PCR tests worldwide by that date, as well as COVID-19 serologic testing and, in some markets, whole genome sequencing to help identify the variants.
In Australia, it is Also the largest non-government provider of COVID vaccination. By mid-November 2021, it had provided more than 1 million COVID vaccines.
Change of COVID booster
According to reports from various media, such as The Guardian, the interval between COVID vaccinations will be reduced to four months from January 4, and then reduced to three months on January 31, based on updated advice from the Australian Vaccination Technical Advisory Group (ATAGI).
Greg Hunt, Australia’s Minister of Health, said the country is expected to surpass the 2 million recall mark today. According to The Guardian, he said:
It is no surprise that we are advancing eligibility for the booster dose to four months starting January 4. The planning behind this will open up a new cohort. Currently, that means we’ll go from around 3.2 million people eligible today to around 7.5 million who will be eligible on January 4. This means that the cohort has grown.
It will be extended again on January 31st to three months and that will bring it to 16 million Australians who will be eligible at that time and as we have said from the start, eligibility is the start of access , This is not the case. This means that someone is late on the same day they become eligible.
These dates were set out of caution to give Australians continuous and early protection and the advice we have is that the protection as it is is very strong against serious illnesses, but what we will see is much stronger protection. against transmission.
What could this mean for COVID and the Sonic share price?
However, while ATAGI approved the change in recall dates, he said in a declaration that booster vaccinations alone will not be enough to stop a huge wave of COVID-19 caused by Omicron.
ATAGI expects that the booster vaccination alone will not be sufficient to prevent an increase due to Omicron. However, maximizing recall coverage by expanding eligibility and encouraging high usage, in combination with improved public health and social measures, can prevent a sharp increase in the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. ATAGI also recognizes the demands that COVID-19 booster and pediatric vaccination programs will have on vaccination staff.
Sonic’s share price, earnings, and revenue apparently continue to be partially affected by the level of testing he performs.
Over the past month, Sonic’s stock price has risen 11% as Omicron infections escalate.
In the four months to October 2021, before this Omicron push, Sonic’s revenue grew 5% and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) grew 16% thanks to its leverage from operation.
The core business, which excludes services related to COVID-19 and is primarily pathology, continues to grow. It was up 6% in the first four months of FY22.