Moderna Stock Drops. The Omicron Picture Is Getting Slightly Less Hazy.

- Advertisement -


Moderna President Dr. Stephen Hoge said on Sunday that there is a risk that Omicron will reduce the effectiveness of its vaccine.

- Advertisement -

Danielle Leal / AFP via Getty Images

- Advertisement -

Less than two weeks after authorities in South Africa alerted the world to the presence of the heavily mutated Omicron, major questions about the variant remain unanswered. What has become increasingly clear over the weekend is that experts believe the variant will spread rapidly around the world, and that makers of messenger RNA-based vaccines do not believe the current versions of their vaccines are complete. Will protect it in some way.

speaking on abc This week With George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Dr. Stephen Hoge, President of Moderna (ticker: mRNA), said that “there is a real risk that we are going to see a decrease in the effectiveness of vaccines”. Because of Omicron, but he doesn’t know how “how much” it would be.

- Advertisement -

Moderna’s stock dropped about 12% early Monday.

Data are not yet on whether currently approved vaccines work against the variant, or if Omicron is more or less lethal than earlier strains of the virus.

more covid News

The comments were less pessimistic than those made by Hoega’s colleague, CEO Stephen Bunsell, in an interview with the Financial Times. early last week Which shook the stock market.

Moderna has said it is developing an Omicron-specific booster for its vaccine. Hoge, however, said it would take time to develop a new vaccine. “We can probably produce millions of doses in the first quarter, but not hundreds,” Hoge said. “And it really won’t be until the second quarter of next year that you’ll see a change in those big steps in terms of the number of doses.”

in an interview with baron’s Published on Friday, the senior official responsible for reviewing COVID-19 vaccines at the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Peter Marx set out a possible timeline that could have shots of updated weapons vaccines in the US by April, if Omicron-specific boosters are necessary.

Companies are already running various tests to determine whether their vaccines will work against Omicron. Pfizer (PFE) told Cowen analyst Steve Scala that it challenges the vaccine with the results of its first laboratory test, known as a pseudovirus, after a week or two of vaccine trials against the actual virus. will be done after The company noted that the results of both tests should be available by the end of the month.

“The PFE anticipates that the results of these studies will not be black or white, but there may be some degree of ambiguity,” the Cowen analyst wrote in a note published Monday. Pfizer told Scala it could produce one billion doses of the updated vaccine per quarter.

Meanwhile, major questions about the pathogenicity of Omicron remain unanswered. President Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN: “So far, it doesn’t seem like there’s much seriousness to this.” state of the Union on Sunday. “But we have to be really careful before making any decisions that [Omicron] is less severe or it doesn’t really cause any serious illness compared to Delta.”

European health officials said there were a total of 182 omicron cases in the EU and European Economic Area so far, all of whom were either asymptomatic or mild in severity, with no deaths. European Union of the European Union Centers for Disease Prevention and Controlwarned, however, that the number of cases was still too small to determine whether the disease caused by Omicron was different in severity than other strains.

“Given the speed of the spread of Omicron, it is hard to imagine avoiding infection in South Africa over the next few months, and assuming inevitable in the context of already documented infection incidence outside South Africa, it is only a matter of time.” There are (weeks) before thousands of cases are being confirmed in other countries around the world,” SVB Leerink analyst Dr. Geoffrey Porges wrote in a note published on Monday.

Porges wrote that, so far, the initial evidence about the pathogenicity of the variant is encouraging. “It appears that hospitalizations are not increasing like the number of diagnoses in South Africa”, Porges wrote. “All of this may not mean much – these observations are still very early in the latest wave of infections, and the disease pattern can easily change over time beyond an initial diagnosis of infection.”

Still, investors seemed to be getting some comfort in the early hours of Monday. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 1.4% and 0.6%, respectively.

More information about Omicron is expected in the coming weeks. And if last week’s roller coaster is any guide, investors could be in for a rocky end to the year.

Write to josh [email protected]

,

- Advertisement -

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

DMCA / Correction Notice

Recent Articles

Related Stories

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox