The very model of a coronavirus stock in many eyes, Moderna's (MRNA -0.24%) price has generally been on the decline recently. This broadly matches the falls in COVID-19 cases and fatalities we've witnessed in many jurisdictions throughout the world in recent weeks. But there were other factors at play during the week, and these drove the biotech's stock down by almost 9% in the Monday-to-Friday stretch.
The week started out well for Moderna. On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that a team of expert advisors would meet to discuss the timing of, and patient eligibility for, additional coronavirus vaccine boosters. The biotech is the developer of mRNA-1273, also known as Spikevax, one of only two COVID jabs the regulator has fully approved for use.
But on Wednesday, two large organizations declined to exercise their options for additional mRNA-1273 doses. The first was the 55-country African Union, which turned down a 60 million-dose delivery it was entitled to for the second quarter. The second was the World Health Organization's (WHO) COVAX vaccine initiative. That entity said "no" to a combined 166 million doses for 2022's third and fourth quarters.
Compounding this negative development, on Friday Moderna said it was recalling 764,900 doses of the shot that were distributed in Europe and made by Rovi, its contract manufacturer. Moderna said a vial contaminated by a foreign body was found, and the recall was being undertaken as a precautionary measure.
I don't think investors should be overly discouraged by the recent bad news. mRNA-1273 is still one of the best weapons in our anti-COVID arsenal, and we might have to arm up once again if the current omicron BA.2 variant becomes a real threat. Moderna bulls should probably stay the course with their stock.