AstraZeneca’s Shares Are In A Period Of Turmoil
At the beginning of 2021, AstraZeneca became a byword for hope, optimism and success. Its coronavirus vaccine, created in conjunction with Oxford University, was found to be safe, effective and relatively cheap, meaning that it could be distributed to billions of people around the world, spelling the end of the COVID-19 era.
However, in recent weeks, AstraZeneca’s reputation has been somewhat damaged in the wake of a raft of reports stating its vaccine is not as safe as was initially thought. Claims that the vaccine can cause blood clots (medically known as ‘thromboembolic events’) in some individuals have resulted in its rollout being paused numerous times across
Europe, while perhaps more damningly, the UK’s medical authorities recently declared that all of the country’s citizens under the age of 30 will be offered an alternate jab.
Decline In Share Prices
While the vaccine should still be regarded as a huge success (it has already been given to over 20 million people, massively reducing the number of Covid-related deaths) the recent spate of negative press has taken a toll on the company’s value.
At the time of writing, AstraZeneca’s share price has fallen by a whopping 3.9% in the space of just seven days.
However, following the UK’s decision to refrain from offering the vaccine to the country’s younger generations – a move likely to be copied by other countries – it seems likely that share prices will fall again, at least in the short term.
Of course, while this is bad news for AstraZeneca, it has given a significant boost to the creators of alternate vaccines.
Moderna, the pioneering American pharma giant, is set to benefit from an influx of share purchases. The Moderna vaccine is now being rolled out in Brazil, the country currently struggling most to curb infection rates, and will soon be available across the UK, with 17 million doses already ordered by the government.
At the time of writing, Moderna’s share price has increased by a staggering 16% over the last seven days, and given that it seems likely it will become the UK’s predominant vaccine choice over the coming months, its price is not liable to drop any time soon.
However, it is always worth remembering that these vaccines are somewhat experimental.
While they are incredibly effective, new information, impacts and effects are being uncovered all the time, so there is always the chance that Moderna’s vaccine could ultimately suffer a similar blow to the one being experienced currently by AstraZeneca.