A new study has indicated that 2mln people a week in the UK would need to be vaccinated to avoid a third wave of the coronavirus outbreak
Shares in PLC () and the wider market jumped on news that the coronavirus vaccine being jointly developed with the University of Oxford could be approved for use in the UK as soon as this week.
The FTSE 100 drug developer also revealed on Tuesday that its Lynparza treatment had been approved in Japan for the treatment of advanced ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancers.
Government officials confirmed over the weekend that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is poised to give the green light to the vaccine was reported by media over the weekend.
Shares in were up 4% at 7,507.97, while the FTSE 100 was up over 2% at 6,640 not long after midday on Tuesday, also buoyed by the Brexit trade deal agreed just before the festive break.
This came a day after Britain reported 41,385 new cases of COVID-19, a new daily record, as infection rates were accelerated by a new variant of the coronavirus and a catch-up in the reporting of cases after the Christmas weekend.
The government said 357 more people had died within 28 days of a positive test, bringing the official UK death total to 71,109. Adding other data on deaths in recent days means there have now been more than 87,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK, the Office for National Statistics said.
News that the Oxford vaccine could soon be administered came as a great relief, especially with a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine indicating that 2mln people a week would need to be vaccinated to avoid a third wave of the coronavirus outbreak.
That the vaccine is likely to be approved and will be available in large quantities and at room temperature “will be a game-changer for Her Majesty and her subjects”, said analysts at Oanda.
With large parts of the UK under deep lockdown and others poised to go under tighter restrictions, a deeper economic recession is expected.
But a successful vaccination programme “could unleash animal spirits in the form of corporate investment and increased private consumption”, said analysts at AJ Bell, which could lead to a rapid economic bounce back, especially as some of the Brexit uncertainty is lifting.
“Buoyed by news of mass inoculation on the UK and other countries, as well as ongoing fiscal and monetary support for economies from Governments and central banks, markets seem to be leaning toward this scenario right now, with some investors openly debating the return of inflation.”