The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a reduction in the waiting time for Moderna, Inc. (MRNA) vaccine booster doses to 5 months, from the earlier gap of 6 months, according to Reuters.
Shares spiked as much as 2.7% momentarily on the news, but ended the day down 1% at $213.86 on January 7.
Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Booster
On Friday, the U.S. FDA reduced the gap between the primary shots of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine and a booster shot to 5 months for ages 18 and above.
The U.S. is facing a severe surge in the number of Omicron-related COVID-19 cases. The decision to shorten the time gap was taken to increase the vaccine booster roll-outs so that the maximum number of individuals could be protected against the virus.
Earlier last week, the FDA also shortened the waiting time to 5 months for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster.
Recently, at a Healthcare conference organised by Goldman Sachs, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said that a fourth booster shot may be required soon since the effectiveness of the booster starts to decline over time.
Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said, “Vaccination is our best defense against COVID-19, including the circulating variants, and shortening the length of time between completion of primary series and a booster dose may help reduce waning immunity.”
Recently, Argus Research analyst Jasper Hellweg lowered the price target on the stock to $350 from $420, while maintaining a Buy rating.
According to Hellweg, Moderna’s current trading levels offer a buying opportunity. He is encouraged by the U.S. FDA’s current approval of Moderna’s booster dose, which increases neutralizing antibodies by 37 times for a 50-microgram booster dose.
Overall, the stock has a Hold consensus rating based on 7 Buys, 6 Holds, and 3 Sells. The average Moderna price target of $317.69 implies 48.5% upside potential to current levels. Shares have gained 82.4% over the past year.
TipRanks’ News Sentiment and Media Buzz Analysis shows the combined News Score based on MRNA’s News Sentiment and Media Buzz.
According to TipRanks data, the News Score for Moderna is currently Neutral based on 106 articles published over the past seven days. 54% of the articles have a Bullish Sentiment compared to a sector average of 58%, while 46% of the articles have a Bearish Sentiment compared to a sector average of 42%.
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