Shares of Moderna (MRNA 5.74%) were rising 4.5% as of 11:10 a.m. ET on Friday. This gain came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273 in immunizing children ages 6 months to 17 years.
Why didn’t the vaccine stock move even higher on this positive news? For one thing, the FDA’s decision wasn’t a surprise. Earlier this week, an advisory committee to the agency unanimously recommended the authorization of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in immunizing children.
Before today, mRNA-1273 was authorized in the U.S. only for adults ages 18 and older. The vaccine also received full FDA approval for adults in January 2022.
It doesn’t seem likely that the FDA’s EUA will have a significant financial impact on Moderna over the near term. The U.S. government already has a supply deal with Moderna for the purchase of 500 million doses of mRNA-1273. So far, though, only around 282 million doses of the vaccine have been delivered.
Moderna expects to soon submit data to regulatory authorities for its bivalent COVID-19 vaccine that includes mRNA-1273 and a version that specifically targets the coronavirus omicron variant. The company thinks this bivalent vaccine will provide longer durability of protection against variants of concern than mRNA-1273 does. If Moderna gets a green light from regulators, the bivalent vaccine should be available later this summer.
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