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High bar set by rivals means AstraZeneca’s vaccine results disappoint investors

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown:

‘AstraZeneca has been on a disappointing slide this morning, as the efficacy rates for its vaccine fell short of its rivals.

With the bar set high by Pfizer and Moderna, even though the late stage trials were better than expected, AstraZeneca’s shares didn’t get a booster shot after it said efficacy results came in on average at 70%.

However, depending on the doses given and the time frames between them, efficacy was as high as 90% and the vaccine is being sent for immediate regulatory approval. Regulators have already been crawling all over the data on a rolling basis so it’s hoped it’ll get the green light fast.

It has though added to the overall positivity washing around the financial markets about a faster end to the pandemic, with several options for health services around the world.

AstraZeneca has promised to distribute the vaccine at cost while the pandemic lasts and its also likely to face fewer logistical hurdles in the roll out as it can be stored long term at normal fridge temperatures.

So although the breakthrough is not going to end up boosting profits in the short term, it has got long term potential and this breakthrough will add to expertise in vaccines that AstraZeneca has lacked in the past.‘

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