Moderna Vaccine Gets Thumbs Up from the FDA; Stock Market Surges

Markets surge with vaccine advisory committee recommendation.

In anticipation of the Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) COVID-19 vaccine getting the green light for emergency use from the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel Thursday, the stock market surged at close.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 30,303.37 points, up nearly 150 points, or 0.49%. The S&P 500 gained 21.31 (0.58%) to reach more than 3,722. The Nasdaq composite, which has risen steadily over the past few days, gained more than 106 points (0.84%) to reach 12,764.74.

Less than an hour after the closing bell, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of recommending FDA approval for Moderna’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Twenty members of the committee voted yes to emergency use authorization of the vaccine for individuals over 18. One committee member abstained.

By increasing the age to receive the vaccine to 18 rather than approve for use in ages 16+, the committee was able to address most of the concerns conveyed during the Pfizer approval meeting. Neither Pfizer nor Moderna have a lot of data on the benefits of the vaccine in those under 18.

See: When Can You Get the COVID-10 Vaccine — and How Much Will It Cost?
Explore: Should You Invest in Vaccine Stocks Right Now?

With FDA approval nearly a shoe-in at this point, Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine would be the first drug developed by the pharmaceutical company to receive FDA approval.

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The vaccine has a few advantages over the Pfizer shots, the Guardian reported late Thursday evening. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine does not require ultra-cold storage, which can minimize some of the logistical challenges of distributing the vaccine. Secondly, while 94% effective, the vaccine also seemed to mitigate COVID-19 symptoms in the 6% of people it did not fully protect.

In anticipation of Moderna’s vaccine receiving the necessary recommendation, the stock popped yesterday, hitting a high of $146.97 mid-morning. It closed at 144, a 6.97-point, 5.09% lift since morning.

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) also gained Thursday, closing at $38.03, up 0.19 points (0.50%).

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.

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