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Moderna’s top-executives have assured that the vaccine would be effective to a certain degree on the new mutations. However, they are willing to see more results under different conditions. Moderna has received a positive review from field experts as well!
On Monday, January 25, pharmaceutical giant Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) said that its existing COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new strains and variants found in Britain and South Africa which has boosted its stock. However, it added that it will test new booster shots aimed at the South African variant.
The company has been also testing the antibody response after giving its vaccine shots. Moderna said that when tested against the Britain variant, there’s no antibody response. The vaccine, however, has shown a reduced response against the South African variant. Moderna says that two-dose shots would prove effective against the SA variant.
The emergence of new strains in the UK, South Africa and Brazil has raised a concern that different mutations in the virus can make the vaccine less effective. Moderna is reportedly working on a booster shot to deal with the South African variant. During a conference call, Moderna President Stephen Hoge said:
“The virus isn’t going to stand still. While the current strains appear to be well-protected by our COVID-19 … It’s important that we remain vigilant and develop potential tools and countermeasures that would allow us to continue to beat back the pandemic.”
Upon completing the two-dose course, Moderna says that its current vaccine is effective for at least a year. In a statement, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said:
“Out of an abundance of caution and leveraging the flexibility of our mRNA platform, we are advancing an emerging variant booster candidate against the variant first identified in the Republic of South Africa into the clinic to determine if it will be more effective to boost titers against this and potentially future variants”.
MRNA Stock Jumps 12% on Monday after the News about Its Vaccine
The Moderna stock price (NASDAQ: MRNA) jumped 12.20% on Monday, January 25, on the news of a positive vaccine response to the new mutations. Over the last year, the MRNA stock has multiplied 6.5x times which is a massive 550% return.
Moderna has, however, received positive reviews from field experts and market analysts. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, backed Moderna’s efforts to deal with the strain variants. He added that the ultimate goal of the vaccine is to prevent severe infections among people. Offit said:
“This is not a problem yet. Prepare for it. Sequence these viruses. Get ready just in case a variant emerges, which is resistant” to the vaccine.
Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said that the vaccine has shown encouraging response to the South African variant. He added that although less effective, it was still above the levels of desired protection.