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The anticipation of a booster shot approval has sent Moderna shares up.
American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) has refiled its application to administer booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine to the US Food and Drug Administration. As reported by CNBC, the Moderna application refiling comes as the FDA is set to approve booster shots for the vaccine developed by the duo of Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE), and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) for all adults as early as this week.
The anticipation of a likely booster shot approval has sent Moderna shares to close Wednesday’s session up 3.39% to $242.23 and it has maintained a growth in the pre-market where it has picked up a slight gain of 0.28%.
Moderna was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to secure approval from the FDA for the use of its vaccine. The Cambridge Massachusetts-based company has previously secured booster shot approvals of its vaccine for adults aged 65 and above, alongside Pfizer’s. The booster shots were approved back in October and targeted adults at risk of contracting the virus, as well as those who live or work in settings that make them more susceptible to the disease.
However, the new approval for all adults will open access to millions of people to get the shot as the American government is doing all it can to provide full-blown immunity to all citizens. If approved, Moderna’s vaccine will trail that from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) whose booster shot is already being administered across the board.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director, Rochelle Walensky said the agency is all geared up to “act swiftly” on all the booster doses as soon as the FDA reviews the data and provides authorization. Moderna’s application for a booster shot for all adults was first filed back in September, however, when the review committee met last month, the challenge of lack of sufficient data still presented itself.
“The data itself is not strong, but it is certainly going in a direction that is supportive of this vote,” said panel member, Dr. Patrick Moore who added that he had to vote “Yes” based on a gut feeling.
Moderna Booster Shot Application: an Overblown Immunity Pursuit?
There has been a lot of controversy on the need for a booster shot amongst the already vaccinated. Medical experts argued that the effects of a vaccine can wane out over time, while international watchdogs like the World Health Organization (WHO) bemoan the need for a booster shot when many countries are yet to vaccinate a large percentage of their population.
While American public health stakeholders believe a booster shot is necessary to eradicate all traces of the pandemic, as many as 60 million Americans are yet to get a shot. The critics of the booster shots argue that this number, as well as, other unvaccinated people from various nations can serve as a major carrier for mutated variants of the virus in the near future.
On Wednesday, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci urged eligible Americans to get the booster shots in order to perfect their immunity.
“It is not too late. Get vaccinated now. And importantly, if you are already vaccinated six months or more ago and eligible for a boost, get a boost,” Fauci said. “The Israelis have shown that when you boost, you multifold diminish the likelihood of getting infected, getting sick, or dying.”