Moderna Vaccine Is Granted Authorization in Australia

Moderna Inc. (NasdaqGS: MRNA) surged Monday after the company’s Covid-19 vaccine was granted a provisional adult authorization in Australia, lifting biotechnology sector-related exchange traded funds.

On Monday, the VanEck Vectors Biotech ETF (BBH) rose 3.0% and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) gained 2.3%.

Meanwhile, Moderna shares jumped 16.9% on Monday. MRNA makes up 5.8% of BBH’s underlying portfolio and 5.5% of IBB.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has granted provisional registration to the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna in Australia for active immunization for adults 18 years of age and older, according to Business Wire.

“I want to thank the government of Australia for their collaboration and for the confidence they have demonstrated in COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna with this decision,” Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna, said in the press release. “As we seek to protect people around the world with our COVID-19 vaccine, we look forward to continuing discussions with the Australian Government about potentially establishing local mRNA manufacturing capabilities.”

The Australian government has purchased 10 million doses of COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna for delivery in 2021 and can execute an option to acquire another 15 million doses in 2022.

Moderna has also received emergency authorization use of its COVID-19 vaccine from health agencies in over 50 countries, along with an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization.

Moderna is also pushing for COVID-19 booster shots. The company argues that vaccinated people will need booster shots before the end of the year due to the widely circulating delta variant, MarketWatch reports.

“A dose three of a booster will likely be necessary to keep us as safe as possible through the winter season in (the) Northern Hemisphere,” Moderna President Stephen Hoge told investors, according to a FactSet transcript of the company’s Thursday earnings call.

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