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Moderna has come under fire in recent times as many countries in Europe are boycotting its vaccine for that of Pfizer.
Since the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was discovered, pharmaceutical companies including Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) have been reassessing the likelihood of their current vaccine to help protect against this fast-spreading Covid-19 variant. Following recent clinical trials, the American company said the booster shot of its mRNA-1273 COVID-19 Vaccine can “boost neutralizing antibody levels 37-fold higher than pre-boost levels,” which it described as reassuring.
In the press release in which the company described the results of its trials, it said administering as much as 100 micrograms instead of the 50 micrograms approved for the booster shot can boost immunity by as much as 83-fold drawing on the data that is yet to be peer-reviewed.
“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 company chose to respond to Omicron with existing vaccines based on its trust in the mix as well as the urgency needed to stem the spread of the new variant. Stéphane added:
“To respond to this highly transmissible variant, Moderna will continue to rapidly advance an Omicron-specific booster candidate into clinical testing in case it becomes necessary in the future. 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.”
Moderna said the tests it carried out were conducted at external labs established by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center and Duke University Medical Center. The preliminary results pushed the shares of the pharmaceutical up to a high of 7.87% in the Pre-market where each Moderna stock changed hands for $318. The pre-market trading laid the bedrock for an active early hours trading for the stock which was up 0.54%. But at teh time of writing as teh market opened, the stock is 3% down.
Moderna Vaccine Against Omicron: Weighing Risks Against Benefits
Moderna has come under fire in recent times as many countries in Europe are boycotting its vaccine for that of Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE). The reason for this is that the mRNA-1273 vaccine is linked to higher risks of heart inflammation amongst young men, a medical condition known as myocarditis.
Amongst the countries that have re-evaluated its options with Moderna include France, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and Sweden, however, the company has maintained that given the rare chances of myocarditis occurrence, the benefits its vaccine along with the booster shots offers far outweighs the risks.
The company plans to take the Omicron-specific vaccine towards clinical trials as soon as early 2022, and banks on the growing demand that is billed to trail this new wave of the pandemic to sell out the vaccine.