With the flu season upon us, the makers of Covid vaccines are back in the headlines as the world looks to contain the new virus mutations. Even before Covid, vaccine development is a very competitive game with companies battling it out with pricing and for market share. The same holds true for vaccines that are considered to be the best against Covid and its mutations, like Pfizer and Moderna.
About the company
Moderna, Inc. engages in the development of transformative medicines based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). Its product pipeline includes the following modalities: prophylactic vaccines, cancer vaccines, intratumoral immuno-oncology, localized regenerative therapeutics, systemic secreted therapeutics, and systemic intracellular therapeutics. The company was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Cambridge, USA.
Moderna, along with its main competitor, Pfizer, which makes its shot in collaboration with Germany's BioNTech, still see a major role for themselves in the (Covid) vaccine market even as overall demand declines. Moderna, as well as its competitor brings one key advantage top the table: its vaccine is based on messenger RNA (mRNA) and can be updated somewhat quicker than those from other competitors. Moderna can apply this advantage when developing vaccines targeting the Omicron variant of the Covid virus.
Additionally, the vaccine from Moderna is considered safer for older adults. A possible reason is that the Moderna dose is much higher with 100 μg. Older bodies may need the bigger kick from the larger Moderna dose to prime their immune systems. For persons aged 18-49, there were almost no deaths among two-dose vaccinees.
Moderna executives recently said those who would benefit from annual boosting include people over 50 and adults with other health risk factors or high-risk occupations, including healthcare workers. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel estimated this population to be around 1.7 billion people, or some 21% of the global population.
The company believes that in the coming year, most COVID vaccinations will be booster shots, or first inoculations for children, which are still gaining regulatory approvals around the world. It is not known yet how many booster doses will be needed. Second booster shots are currently recommended in some countries for only a subset of the population.
The projected revenue
The United States and Western Europe - where about 600 million people are vaccinated - will remain important markets for the vaccine maker, but sales may be a fraction of what they have been.
This is because most people who wanted to get vaccinated against COVID have already done so - more than 5 billion people worldwide.
That said, shares of COVID-19 vaccine makers including Moderna (MRNA) and Novavax (NVAX) surged after a report that the Biden administration plans to urge Americans to get booster shots for the fall, as new subvariants emerge and cases rise.
For 2023, analysts have forecast global revenue of over $17 billion for Moderna’s main competitor, the Pfizer/BioNTech shot and $10 billion for Moderna's.  Sales are expected to drop further from there. It is also unclear if vaccine makers will sell a redesigned shot this fall and each fall afterward, as flu vaccine makers do to match circulating strains, and what impact that might have on waning demand.
Moderna stock price in a 5-year timeframe. Source: Tradingview.com *
Adam Austera, chief analyst of Ozios
* Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
 Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and current expectations, which may be inaccurate, or based on the current economic environment which is subject to change. Such statements are not guaranteeing of future performance. They involve risks and other uncertainties which are difficult to predict. Results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements.