What happened

Shares of Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) climbed 6.5% on Wednesday after the European Commission granted a conditional marketing authorization (CMA) for its COVID-19 vaccine. 

So what

The CMA will allow the drug to be given to adults aged 18 and older throughout the European Union. To accelerate the rollout, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) ordered an additional 80 million doses of Moderna's vaccine, bringing its total order to 160 million doses. The first deliveries are scheduled to start next week.

A person in medical protective gear is holding a vial labeled coronavirus 2019.

Moderna scored another regulatory victory on Wednesday. Image source: Getty Images.

"I want to thank the European Commission for its engagement and endorsement and the EMA for its recommendation, which is another significant moment in our company's history," said Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel in a press release.

Now what

Moderna is hopeful that its vaccine will be effective against new coronavirus strains that have emerged in recent months. Coronavirus mutations first discovered in the U.K. and South Africa are proving to be even more contagious than previous versions of the virus. Government officials in the U.K., Israel, and other areas have reimposed strict lockdowns in recent days aimed at slowing the spread of the disease.

Should Moderna's drug prove effective at combatting these new coronavirus strains, the biotech could receive even more orders from governments around the world in the weeks ahead.

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