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Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose Recommended by ACIP

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended the booster dose of Moderna, Inc.’s (MRNA) COVID-19 vaccine.

The dose provided by the American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company can be administered at the 50 µg level to people aged 65 and above, adults (aged 18 to 64) who are at a high risk of severe COVID-19, and people (aged 18 to 64) with frequent occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the company said.

The recommendation followed the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) for the booster dose, which is to be administered minimum after six months following primary vaccinations. Additionally, the booster dose has also been authorized for eligible individuals who received a different authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.

The U.S. regulator’s decision followed the totality of scientific evidence presented by Moderna and reviewed by the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), including data analysis from the Phase 2 clinical study of mRNA-1273, the company said.

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The CEO of Moderna, Stephane Bancel, said, “Since we began this journey in January of 2020, our goal has been to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19. The ACIP recommendation is another step forward in our quest to address this devastating pandemic with a vaccine.” (See Moderna stock charts on TipRanks)

Moderna anticipates that the authorization of the booster dose and subsequent approval might result in extra doses of up to 1 billion being available for distribution in 2022.

Following the FDA’s approval, Piper Sandler analyst Edward Tenthoff reiterated a Buy rating on Moderna and a price target of $445 (31% upside potential).

Tenthoff commented, “Mix & Match approval means Moderna’s booster can be given following any other approved COVID vaccine, which is important as we believe Moderna could gain share from Pfizer in the booster market. Moderna will report 3Q:21 earnings on 11/4 with projected SpikeVax revenues of $5.5 billion totaling $19.5 billion this year and $33.5 billion in 2022.”

Overall, the stock has a Hold consensus rating based on 5 Buys, 5 Holds and 2 Sells. The average Moderna price target stands at $381.13 and implies upside potential of 12.24% to current levels. Shares have gained 102% over the past six months.

TipRanks’ Hedge Fund Trading Activity tool shows that confidence in Moderna is currently Neutral, as the cumulative change in holdings across all 10 hedge funds that were active in the last quarter was an increase of 8.9 million shares.

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