Novavax (NVAX) Stock Up 8% as FDA Approves Updated Covid Vaccine

Novavax (NVAX) Stock Up 8% Yesterday as FDA Approves Updated Covid Vaccine but Is 6% Down Now

UTC by Benjamin Godfrey · 3 min read
Novavax (NVAX) Stock Up 8% Yesterday as FDA Approves Updated Covid Vaccine but Is 6% Down Now
Photo: Depositphotos

The updated vaccine specifically addresses the XBB.1.5 subvariant of the Omicron variant, which has raised concerns due to its potential to evade immunity conferred by earlier versions of the vaccine. 

In a recent development, stocks of Novavax Inc (NASDAQ: NVAX) jumped 8.2% yesterday following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of its improved COVID-19 vaccine. However, it’s worth noting that in pre-market trading, the stock experienced a slight dip and is 6% down at the time of writing.

The Roll-Out of Novavax Updated Shots

As highlighted in a recent report, Novavax is gearing up to make its updated COVID-19 vaccine available at thousands of locations in the coming days.

The FDA’s decision, which came late Tuesday, has been met with enthusiasm from investors and health experts alike. Novavax has been at the forefront of vaccine research and development, and this latest approval solidifies its position as a key player in the global vaccination effort.

One of the critical aspects of this approval is the extension of the age group eligible for the Novavax booster. The vaccine is now approved for individuals aged 12 and older, providing a broader range of protection for adolescents and young adults.

The updated vaccine specifically addresses the XBB.1.5 subvariant of the Omicron variant, which has raised concerns due to its potential to evade immunity conferred by earlier versions of the vaccine.

While this subvariant currently accounts for only a small percentage of sequenced cases in the United States, it has demonstrated concerning properties in lab testing against other strains. Novavax’s ability to adapt quickly to these emerging threats is a testament to the flexibility and innovation of its vaccine platform.

Comparing Novavax’s Vaccine to Pfizer and Moderna

In contrast to Novavax’s stock increase, shares of Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE), BioNTech SE – ADR (NASDAQ: BNTX), and Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) exhibited muted movement in late trading, suggesting that investors may be closely watching Novavax’s entry into the market and assessing its potential impact on the competitive landscape.

However, it is worth noting that Novavax employs a different approach to vaccine development compared to the mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna. While Pfizer and Moderna’s updated vaccines also received FDA approval last month, Novavax’s technology is based on proteins rather than messenger RNA.

This diversity in vaccine platforms is advantageous as it allows for a more comprehensive approach to tackling the virus and its variants. Despite the FDA’s approval, there have been reports of limited vaccine supplies for Novavax, Pfizer, and Moderna.

The high demand for booster shots and the need to cover a broader age range have put pressure on vaccine manufacturers to ramp up production. Moderna, for example, announced that it is shipping additional supplies daily to meet the increasing demand for its vaccine.

Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel expressed enthusiasm for combination vaccines, emphasizing their ability to enhance the consumer and provider experience, boost compliance with public health recommendations, and offer value to healthcare systems.

The move to Phase 3 development for combination respiratory vaccines signifies Moderna’s commitment to addressing the seasonal threat posed by respiratory viruses effectively.

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