What happened

With COVID-19 variants grabbing headlines worldwide, coronavirus stocks are again landing on the radar screens of investors. That, combined with a new supply agreement announced this morning, pushed Moderna's (NASDAQ:MRNA) stock up by 0.7% on Thursday, beating the gain of the S&P 500 index on the day.

So what

Moderna is greatly expanding its arrangement with Taiwan. The biotech company has signed on to provide 20 million doses of its mRNA-1273 coronavirus vaccine and its updated variant booster vaccine (if authorized for use) in 2022. This will quadruple the 5 million it is obligated to supply the island nation this year. As part of the new agreement, it will also provide an additional 15 million doses in 2023.

Illustration of coronavirus particles.

Image source: Getty Images.

Moderna did not disclose the financial terms of the expanded deal.

It's the second expansion in Asia announced this week by the company. On Tuesday, it divulged that Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and Takeda Pharmaceutical will take delivery of 50 million additional doses of the vaccine and, provisionally, the booster, in 2022. That doubles the 50 million already agreed for this year.

Now what

While Moderna frequently makes the headlines as the maker of one of only three coronavirus vaccines authorized for use in the U.S., mRNA-1273 has the green light in many other jurisdictions around the world, too. The resurgence of COVID-19 isn't only a U.S. problem, it's a global issue; therefore, the company will remain on the front lines of the fight as long as it rages.

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