Shares of biotech Moderna have been sliding since August.
beat earnings estimates Thursday and announced a $3 billion share buyback.
Moderna Thursday reported revenues for the fourth quarter of 2021 of $7.2 billion, beating the FactSet consensus estimate of $6.8 billion, and diluted earnings of $11.29 per share, beating the FactSet consensus estimates of $9.96 per share.
On an investor call, Moderna’s (ticker: MRNA) chief medical officer, Dr. Paul Burton, said that the company “firmly” believes a fourth Covid-19 vaccine booster dose will be necessary by the fall of this year.
“While we are hopeful that we are about to enter a period of relative stability in the Northern Hemisphere, we believe firmly that a vaccine booster dose will be required for the fall of 2022 to provide ongoing protection against this virus,” Burton said.
The Food and Drug Administration has so far only authorized a first round of Covid-19 vaccine boosting, though some countries, including the U.K., have begun to offer a fourth dose to some populations. On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the FDA is considering authorizing a fourth dose for this fall.
On the Moderna call, Burton highlighted data from U.K. health authorities, which he said showed that vaccine protection against hospitalization caused by the Omicron coronavirus variant waned over time. He said that a booster given in late 2022 would need to protect specifically against the Delta and Omicron variants.
Later in the call, the company’s president, Dr. Stephen Hoge, said that a booster for this fall and winter in the Northern Hemisphere would be needed to boost waning…