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Pfizer and Moderna rapidly falling out of favor as Americans’ favorite brands: report

What a difference a year makes: Pfizer and Moderna were riding high in Americans’ minds last year, but a new report from The Harris Poll shows how both have fallen from grace.

In 2021, Moderna ranked third and Pfizer came in at No. 7 in the annual Axios survey, undertaken by The Harris Poll, that focuses on Americans’ favorite brands in what it calls the 100 “most visible companies.”

But in 2022, the two are on a downward spiral. Pfizer has dropped 37 places to 44th on the list, while Moderna has fallen out of the top 100 completely. In 2020, Moderna didn’t place at all, while Pfizer was 61st.

The difference in 2021 was, of course, the companies’ rollout of their respective mRNA COVID vaccines, Comirnaty and Spikevax, two of the most highly anticipated products of a generation as they could help the world return to normality amid the deadly pandemic.

But now we are more than two years into the pandemic, and, as these vaccines have helped reduce the overall risk of death and severe outcomes from the disease, the initial emergency state of COVID has receded.

This also follows a steady decline in the reputation score for the larger pharma industry over the past year, as recorded by The Harris Poll. Data out from the pollster in March showed Americans see pharma in an increasingly less positive light, with just 47% of respondents viewing the industry in positive terms. That’s down 15% from its peak in late 2020 when the first mRNA vaccines were authorized.

There hasn’t been some major catastrophe for the industry as a whole or for the two companies specifically. Reasons for the drop in industry reputation scores include the war in Ukraine and inflation, both of which have displaced COVID in Americans’ minds.

With COVID fears receding, the initial high visibility of Pfizer and Moderna is fading as well.

Overall for the Top 100, this year grocer Trader Joe’s came top, with HEB Grocery and clothing company Patagonia coming second and third, respectively. Patagonia came top last year, while Honda Motor Company was second (and came in ninth this year).

The next Big Pharma on the list was Johnson & Johnson, which held station as 77th on the list, the same as 2021.

The Axios Harris Poll 100 is based on a survey of 33,096 Americans and was undertaken between March 11 and April 3.