Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) shares are trading higher Wednesday amid reports of a COVID-19 surge in China.
What Happened: According to a Washington Post report, China is preparing for another wave of COVID-19 as cases of the new XBB variant are on the rise. The new wave is expected to peak in June and current estimates show as many as 65 million people could be infected.
China has reportedly already given initial approval to two new vaccines for the XBB variant, which is being labeled as a subvariant of omicron.
"The number of infections will be less. The severe cases will be certainly be less, and deaths will be less, but that could still be a large number," Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong's School of Public Health, reportedly said.
The new variant has also been seen in the United States and health officials in the U.S. are not ruling out the possibility of a new wave of infections.
Several vaccine stocks are rallying on the potential need for new vaccines or boosters in response to the XBB variant. Moderna's vaccine was one of the main vaccines used to help protect individuals from the virus during the pandemic.