What happened

Shares of Novavax (NVAX 2.06%) were jumping 6.3% as of 10:44 a.m. ET on Monday. The nice gain came after the company announced that Swiss regulators have recommended Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine Nuvaxovid as a booster in adults ages 18 and older.

Novavax also announced on Monday morning that its partner, SK bioscience, has filed for approval in South Korea for Nuvaxovid to be used as a booster in adults. South Korean regulators had already approved the vaccine for primary immunization against the novel coronavirus earlier this year.

So what

Today's move doesn't do much to reverse Novavax's dismal performance so far this year. The vaccine stock was down nearly 89% coming into this week. However, the news from both Switzerland and South Korea was definitely positive.

Novavax's opportunities for Nuvaxovid as a primary vaccine are limited in developed nations due to already-high vaccination rates. The company's best opportunity to pick up any near-term market momentum is for its vaccine to be used as a booster.

Nuvaxovid is already available as a booster in the European Union, Australia, Israel, Japan, and New Zealand. The announcement by Swiss regulators follows an expanded temporary authorization of the vaccine as a booster for adults. Nuvaxovid can also be used off-label as a booster in adults ages 18 and older after South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory opinion in September 2022.

Now what

Novavax now awaits two even bigger catalysts. The company hopes to secure U.S. approval for Nuvaxovid as a booster in adults. It also should soon report results from a late-stage study of its vaccine candidate targeting the coronavirus omicron variant.