Moderna soars 9% after it says booster shot increases protection against Omicron

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Moderna vaccine
Moderna has soared over the last year on the back of its coronavirus vaccine.

  • Moderna soared as much as 9% on Monday after it said its booster shot increases protection against the Omicron variant. 
  • A third dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine resulted in a 37-fold increase in protection against the variant.
  • Moderna’s authorized booster shot is half the dose level used for each of the first two vaccine shots.
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Moderna stock soared as much as 9% on Monday after it said its COVID-19 vaccine booster increases protection against the Omicron variant.

A third dose, which is half the dose level used for each of the first two vaccine shots, resulted in a 37-fold increase in antibody protection against the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

“The dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant is concerning to all. However, these data showing that the currently authorized Moderna COVID-19 booster can boost neutralizing antibody levels 37-fold higher than pre-boost levels are reassuring,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna. 

The results have yet to be peer reviewed, and Moderna also noted that its original two-dose vaccine regimen does not provide a strong response to the Omicron variant.

To quickly combat the rise of the Omicron variant, Moderna plans to quickly advance an Omicron-specific booster candidate into its clinical testing, in case it becomes necessary in the future. 

“Given the long-term threat demonstrated by Omicron’s immune escape, Moderna will also continue to develop an Omicron-specific variant vaccine (mRNA-1273.529) that it expects to advance into clinical trials in early 2022 and will evaluate including Omicron in its multivalent booster program,” Moderna said in a press release on Monday.

“We will also continue to generate and share data across our booster strategies with public health authorities to help them make evidence-based decisions on the best vaccination strategies against SARS-CoV-2,” Bancel said.

The strong booster results against Omicron is welcome news for Moderna investors, who have experienced a 40% decline since the stock topped out around $497 in August. The stock pared its gains on Monday morning to about 1%. Still, shares of Moderna are up 187% year-to-date.

Moderna stock price