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Why Boosters Approval in Europe Is a Big Deal for Moderna

By Keith Speights and Brian Orelli, PhD – Nov 5, 2021 at 6:08AM

Key Points

  • A European committee recommended booster doses for Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine in adults 18 and older.
  • This is a key win for the company but won't result in higher sales over the near term.
  • Moderna would benefit significantly if boosters are needed beyond next year.

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Moderna's boosters in Europe won't have the restrictions imposed in the U.S.

The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use recently recommended a booster dose for Moderna's (MRNA 0.46%) COVID-19 vaccine for individuals ages 18 and up. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Oct. 27, Motley Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli discuss the importance of the European win for Moderna.

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Keith Speights: But Moderna also had some other good news this week as well. The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use recommended a booster dose of Moderna's Spikevax vaccine for individuals ages 18 and older.

First of all, Brian, how big of a deal is this for Moderna? Then secondly, do you think this European decision could lead to an expansion of boosters across a broader age group for Moderna's vaccine in the U.S.?

Brian Orelli: Yeah. The recommendation for everyone 18 years and older getting the booster will certainly result in more boosters being given out compared to if it was more restrictive with recommendations only for older adults or people who have risk factors. There are a lot of moving parts here, to know how much it will actually help Moderna.

How many people will actually follow the recommendation in Europe and then Europe has already ordered enough additional doses so there's not actually extra sales happening here because if doesn't the wider recommendation doesn't really benefit the company. I think investors really should be focused on boosters in 2022 and 2023.

If they're needed, then Moderna is somewhat fairly priced to probably have been a good value, if they're not needed, then I think Moderna is overvalued at this point.

I guess I'd say that it's not a big deal relative to the bigger picture of what's important to Moderna's near-term future, which is not really this first booster, but whether we need a second, and third, and fourth booster, that will really drive the sales in 2022 and 2023 and that'll help justify the current valuation market cap.

Speights: Yeah, I totally agree with you there, Brian. I think the main thing for investors to watch with Moderna and any of the leading vaccine stocks, watch for the supply deals beyond 2022. I think that'll be the key. If you start seeing some really big, big supply deals going into 2023 and beyond, then that's going to bode really well for Moderna.

Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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