Monday 26 October 2020 3:18 pm

Astrazeneca shares up on Covid-19 vaccine hospital rollout reports

Astrazeneca [LON:AZN] shares rose nearly 2.5 per cent today after it was reported that UK hospitals were preparing for the rollout of the first doses of its coronavirus vaccine.

Staff at a major London hospital trust have been told to be ready to receive the first batches of the vaccine, which is being developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, The Sun newspaper reported on Monday.

The hospital was reportedly told to prepare for the Covid-19 vaccine from the “week commencing 2 November.” 

A separate in the Financial Times also concluded the same vaccine was headed to a rollout in the UK.

Sources told the FT the jab “produced a robust immune response in elderly people”.

The share price was also boosted by the company’s announcement that stage three clinical trials in the US were restarting.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today authorised the restart in the US, following the resumption of trials in other countries in recent weeks.

Tests were postponed after a participant in the study contracted adverse side effects.

Astrazeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot said: “The restart of clinical trials across the world is great news as it allows us to continue our efforts to develop this vaccine to help defeat this terrible pandemic.

“We should be reassured by the care taken by independent regulators to protect the public and ensure the vaccine is safe before it is approved for use.”

The results of the trial are expected later this year.

Other pharma firms did not benefit from Astrazeneca’s bump. Rival GSK was up just 0.5 per cent, while across the Atlantic Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer both sank over one per cent.