Moderna CEO says vaccines likely less effective against Omicron COVID-19 variant

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said that based on his conversations with scientists, current vaccines will likely be less effective against the Omicron variant. Yahoo Finance's Ines Ferre provides details.

Video transcript

KARINA MITCHELL: And watching all of the market action for us is our Yahoo Finance's Ines Ferre, looking at some of the trending tickers. And Ines, Moderna is down today, sinking today.

INES FERRE: Yeah, that's right. Moderna is down more than 3%, Karina. This is after Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel told the Financial Times that the existing vaccines will likely be less effective at combating omicron than earlier strains of COVID-19 and the vaccines that are out there. So the current crop basically of the vaccines that we have, those may have to be modified next year, according to the CEO of Moderna.

Now, the same type of effectiveness that we saw with the vaccines, with the Delta variant, with the vaccines that we have, that is likely not the case here. That's basically what he's saying. He also had said that the experts weren't really expecting such a highly mutated virus with this variant in such a short amount of time, that they were expecting this variant maybe could occur anywhere between one and two years from now.

Nevertheless, Moderna is one of the companies that said that it could come out with a vaccine variant in several months by early 2022. He said that it will take several months before a specific vaccine for omicron is developed. But there may be also a case for making boosters for the elderly and for those that have a compromised immune system. So perhaps some indication there on whether or not to basically allocate more resources towards those boosters or towards the variant vaccine.

Moderna down 3%, and over the last month, month to date, you're seeing that the stock is just up 3%, because it's been a volatile stock, I would say, over the last month. And I should point out that Pfizer is up more than 3% today after those comments from Moderna's CEO. Pfizer is the company that said that they can make a vaccine against the variant in about 100 days.