Multiple Covid-19 vaccinations enter final stages
The arrival of the highly anticipated Covid-19 vaccination provides a morale boost for all, as three vaccines deliver excellent results in the final phase of clinical trials. The global front-runner being the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which in a recent test proved a 95% efficacy against the virus, with Moderna closely following at 94% and Sputnik marginally coming in third.
As of the 17th of November, the UK has placed an order for 5 million doses to be delivered as soon as possible, with distribution to be underway by mid-December. No doubt this is a nod towards the goal to ‘save Christmas’ by making visits to care-homes and household mixing viable over the holiday season.
In recent news, the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine has produced some promising results in their phase two findings. It has been shown to produce a strong immunity response in adults from the elder, and most at risk, generation. As the vaccine moves into phase three, it will be tested to see whether it prevents people from developing the Covid-19 virus. The UK government have placed their faith in this vaccine, more than any other, with an order of 100 million doses as compared to 40 million of the Pfizer-BioNTech and 5 million of the Moderna. Perhaps, this is partially due to the Oxford vaccine´s more favourable storage and distribution capabilities. As it does not rely on strict temperature conditions to function, it will be easier to manufacture and distribute on a large scale. The interim data from their final phase trials have proven that this vaccine is highly effective at preventing people from developing Covid-19 symptoms.
According to Bloomberg, the publication of the positive preliminary results for the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine caused a surge in share value and an increase in company trading by as much as 24% in a matter of hours. The effect was felt globally as more than £1.36 trillion was added to the value of the MSCI All Country World Index. A global trend which was reflected in our own statistics as a noticeable increase in trading took place shortly after the positive news earlier this month. It seems that the potential early distribution of this vaccine has provided a much-needed boost in morale to developers and investors alike.
The revitalisation of the economy created a positive chain effect as currency was lifted significantly for the first time since Brexit. Sterling currency strengthened almost immediately as there was a global increase in appetite for risk upon the positive news of progress in Pfizer´s vaccination trials. As word spread the UK stock market received a much-needed boost, the pound was raised by 0.5%, verse the US dollar, ten minutes after the announcement went public. A welcome increase as the nation still grapples with the challenges presented by the Brexit agreement deadline of the 31st of December 2020.
The UK’s commitment to the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine means, if approved before Christmas, it will be available for wide-spread distribution early next year. In a matter of months, we could see a complete return to normalcy. These optimistic predictions come as a result of the encouraging biological response of tests undertaken from those with underlying health conditions and over 70 years of age. The spotlight is now shifting from medicine to logistical management as the government must organise the most efficient system for distributing the vaccine. It seems that we may yet see the end of Brexit and the Coronavirus pandemic in the near future.