COVID Vaccine

New Study Reveals Moderna’s Latest COVID Vaccine Shows Positive Strides 

Think it's time for a booster?

Moderna says its newest COVID vaccine is showing signs of a stronger immune response against the virus than the current shot being offered and a longer shelf-life. 

Approximately 11,400 people ages 12 and older participated in the third phase of the trial throughout the U.S., U.K., and Canada. The new shot revealed higher immune responses against the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 and the original strain of the virus. With a higher rate than the vaccine targeting the same variants, the benefits proved sharp in patients over 65, who have the highest risk of health ailments from COVID-19. 

With its current vaccine, Spikevax, being the only one available commercially, this victorious news comes as Moderna continues to compete with rival Pfizer to share more of the vaccine market. They are also trying to diversify revenue streams after the demand for COVID-19 products plummeted last year. 

The new shot is designed to last longer when refrigerated, making it easier to distribute globally, especially in countries with limited freezing abilities. Another critical component of the new shot is the combination of the vaccine providing protection against COVID and the flu. Both competing pharmaceutical companies said there is a “convenience” in being protected from the viruses at once, which encourages more people to get vaccinated. 

However, the good news doesn’t seem to be impressing investors. According to Quartz, stock in Moderna plummeted by almost 3% during afternoon trading on March 26, adding to the 28% drop over the last 12 months. Surprisingly, the company reported a profit of $217 million in the fourth quarter, but that hasn’t stopped the current Moderna product from dwindling in the last year. During the fall 2023 COVID season, Moderna climbed to 48% market share in the U.S. compared to 37% in 2022.

This isn’t stopping Moderna from pressing forward in the fight against diseases. It is reportedly working on the development of a shot that fights the flu, cancer, and more. Their vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) hopes to have the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by May 2024. 

After first announcing during the annual research and development day in September 2023, Moderna introduced plans of adding 15 products to its roster over the next five years.