South Korea Discussing Vaccine Production with Moderna – Report

The South Korean government is in talks with Moderna (MRNA) and Pfizer (PFE) about manufacturing their COVID-19 vaccines in the country, according to a Reuters report.

The world faces a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses, and South Korea has the ambition of becoming a vaccine manufacturing hub. To address the supply shortages and bolster its vaccine manufacturing plans, South Korea is ready to help Moderna, Pfizer, and others produce as many as a billion doses locally.

According to Reuters, the country already has deals with AstraZeneca (AZN) and Novavax (NVAX) to produce their vaccines. It also has a vaccine packaging arrangement with Moderna. (See Moderna stock chart on TipRanks).

“There are only a few mRNA vaccine developers – Pfizer, Moderna, CureVac and BioNTech. Thus there’s a limit to how much they can produce to meet global demand… South Korea is keen to help by offering its facilities and skilled human resources,” Reuters quoted South Korea’s health ministry official, Lee Kang-ho, as saying.

The talks around local manufacturing come as South Korea has ordered 106 million vaccine doses from Moderna and Pfizer for its citizens. The country plans to purchase more doses as booster shots.

In June, Goldman Sachs analyst Salveen Richter reiterated a Buy rating on Moderna stock with a price target of $228. Richter’s price target suggests 2.69% downside potential. The analyst reaffirmed the bullish view on Moderna stock in part because booster COVID-19 vaccine doses will be needed.

Consensus among analysts is a Moderate Buy based on 7 Buys, 4 Holds, and 2 Sells. The average Moderna price target of $192.82 implies 17.70% downside potential from current levels.

According to TipRanks’ Hedge Fund Trading Activity tool, confidence in MRNA is currently Very Positive. The cumulative change in holdings across all 11 funds that were active in the last quarter was an increase of 1.2 million shares.

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