Moderna stock pops 9% after saying vaccine booster fights Omicron, then falls back

Posted: 20 December 2021 7:44 pm
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Preliminary data shows its booster shot increases antibody levels, the company says.

Shares of Moderna opened 9% higher Monday on news that a booster of its COVID-19 vaccine provides protection against the Omicron variant. But the stock fell back in a down day for the market.

Moderna booster appears to provide protection against Omicron

Moderna said in a press release Monday morning that its currently authorized booster — a 50 microgram dose — “can boost neutralizing antibody levels 37-fold higher than pre-boost levels.”

The company also examined the effectiveness of a double dose of its booster shot, or 100 micrograms. This appeared to increase neutralizing antibody levels approximately 83-fold.

Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, described this data as reassuring.

Days after Omicron was first identified in late November, Bancel told the Financial Times that existing vaccines would be much less effective at combating Omicron and that an Omicron-specific vaccine would take months to manufacture at scale.

After a premarket spike, shares of Moderna closed 6% down for the day at $276.38.

Where other vaccine stocks stand

Separately, Pfizer and BioNTech issued a joint statement Monday announcing that an agreement has been reached with the European Commission (EC) and its member states to exercise an option to purchase more than 200 million additional doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Shares of Pfizer ended the day up 3%. BioNTech stock closed 4% down.

Novavax stock also jumped 9% early in Monday’s trading session after the EC granted the company conditional marketing authorization for its Nuvaxovid COVID-19 vaccine. Novavax was approved for emergency use last Friday by the WHO.

However, shares of Novavax closed 7% down for the day.

Pfizer is the only one of these key vaccine stocks trading near its highs for the year. The rest have lost ground, and all have been volatile. Moderna peaked near $500 a share in August.

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