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Why Moderna Stock Is Slipping Today

By Keith Speights – Aug 18, 2021 at 1:00PM

Key Points

  • The Biden administration announced plans to roll out booster doses for Americans fully vaccinated with messenger RNA vaccines.
  • This news didn't provide a positive catalyst for Moderna because the U.S. has already agreed to buy more than enough doses to provide third shots.
  • Today's decline is normal for Moderna because of the stock's high volatility.

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Booster doses are on the way for more Americans. But it doesn't matter much for Moderna.

What happened

Shares of Moderna (MRNA -3.98%) were slipping 2.9% as of 12:13 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. The decline came after the Biden administration announced plans to offer booster shots of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine (and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine) beginning Sept. 20.

So what

Why did the vaccine stock slide on seemingly good news? For one thing, the availability of the third booster doses announced by the Biden administration really won't impact Moderna's sales. The U.S. government has already purchased enough doses to give all Americans who have been fully vaccinated with the company's vaccine a third shot. 

Gloved hands holding a syringe with needle near a person's arm.

Image source: Getty Images.

Also, the amount of today's move isn't unusual for Moderna even when there aren't any developments. The stock is exceptionally volatile, especially with ongoing concerns about its lofty valuation.

However, the White House decision to move forward with booster doses could potentially help Moderna. If other countries that haven't bought as many doses of Moderna's vaccine follow the lead of the U.S., it could boost the company's sales -- especially in the first half of 2022.

Now what

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration must first complete its review of the safety and efficacy of a third dose of the messenger RNA vaccines. The Department of Health and Human Services is making preparations for the administration of booster shots assuming the FDA will authorize the third doses within the next few weeks.

Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Moderna Stock Quote
Moderna
MRNA
$177.35 (-3.98%) $-7.35
Pfizer Stock Quote
Pfizer
PFE
$51.72 (-0.12%) $0.06
BioNTech Se Stock Quote
BioNTech Se
BNTX
$170.30 (-0.88%) $-1.51

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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