Shares of Moderna (MRNA 0.46%) were trading 6.9% higher as of 11:07 a.m. ET on Thursday, though the company hadn't announced any new developments. Instead, those gains appear to be primarily the result of a broader stock market bounce. All of the major market indexes were up Thursday morning.
Investors shouldn't read too much into Moderna's move. There are still plenty of uncertainties that could derail the market's rebound and cause the vaccine stock to give up its gains.
However, Moderna's near-term prospects are certainly looking better. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants omicron-targeting vaccine boosters available in the fall. Moderna expects its omicron booster will be ready by late October or early November.
The company will still have to secure Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA for its omicron booster. It seems likely, though, that Moderna will be able to clear that hurdle based on the track record of its original COVID-19 vaccine.
Moderna doesn't just need to win an EUA for its omicron booster. It also has to land a new supply agreement with the U.S. government -- which it has yet to do. Pfizer (PFE 0.52%) and BioNTech (BNTX 1.48%) recently announced a new deal to sell 105 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S. for $3.2 billion. Those doses could include the partners' omicron boosters.
However, to provide omicron boosters only to those Americans who have already received their primary COVID-19 vaccinations, the U.S. will need more than 105 million doses. The Pfizer-BioNTech supply deal has an option for the federal government to increase its order to 300 million doses. But Moderna's chances of securing an agreement with the U.S. for its omicron booster should be pretty good.