For coronavirus stocks, much depends on approvals and authorizations from regulators. This explains the slightly over 2% rise of Moderna (MRNA -0.26%) on Tuesday; the bellwether coronavirus title enjoyed a bump after a health authority overseas gave the green light to its popular jab.
Monday evening after market hours, Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced it has granted provisional registration for Moderna's mRNA-1273 (also known as Spikevax) for use in patients ages six months to five years.
With that move, TGA has given its first nod to a coronavirus vaccine for people in that age group.
The regulator based its decision on the results of a phase 2/3 clinical trial conducted by Moderna on children in that demographic. In unveiling the outcome of that study, the high-profile biotech said that the vaccine produced a "robust" antibody response and demonstrated a favorable safety profile.
Moderna quoted its general manager for Australia and New Zealand Michael Azrak as saying
The continued evolution of COVID-19 represents an emergent threat to global public health, including young children. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have worked with a deep sense of responsibility to deliver on the promise of mRNA science to all Australians.
Currently, Spikevax is one of four coronavirus vaccines authorized for use in Australia. The others are Comirnaty from the team of Pfizer and BioNTech, Nuvaxovid from Novavax, and AstraZeneca's Vaxzevria.
Any new authorization can only be good news for the planet, as it seems we're still some distance away from escaping the pandemic.
As ever, Moderna continues to be a world-beater with coronavirus vaccines. This reputation will only be burnished with its new position as the current sole provider of a pediatric jab for young children in the land "Down Under."