Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

Could AstraZeneca shares tumble if its vaccine is halted for under-30s?

The AstraZeneca share price has come under pressure in recent days as the UK’s medical authorities consider new restrictions on its vaccine, and EU nations continue to halt the AZ vaccine rollout amid the safety uncertainty.

  • Year-to-date decline of 2.35% for AstraZeneca shares
  • UK could restrict AstraZeneca vaccine for under-30s
  • The European Medicines Agency (EMA) to reveal findings on links to blood clots
  • Moderna vaccine in line to take advantage
  • Want to trade AstraZeneca shares? Open an account today

The AstraZeneca (AZN.L) share price has plunged by 3.9% in the last week following increasing uncertainty surrounding its Covid-19 vaccine’s links to rare blood clots, known as thromboembolic events.

On 21 March 2021, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) published fresh data on the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine, stating that 30 cases of blood clots had been discovered in 18.1 million doses.

Is the MHRA set to take a view on the vaccine’s safety record?

The UK’s vaccine programme has been one of the quickest and most comprehensive in the world. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been one of two Covid-19 vaccines used in the nationwide rollout, along with the Pfizer (PFE.N) and BioNTech (BNTX.O) vaccines respectively.

However, a Channel 4 News report released on 5 April 2021 suggested that the MHRA has been ‘urged’ to ‘pause or restrict’ usage of the AstraZeneca vaccine amid safety fears among younger people. The MHRA is actively ‘scrutinising’ data which suggests young women under 30 are at heightened risk of a ‘potentially fatal blood clot’ from the vaccine than Covid-19 itself.

Although the MHRA’s chief executive, Dr June Raine, insisted that people should ‘continue to get their vaccine when invited to do so’, the prospect of fresh regulatory action has created a short-term bear market for AstraZeneca shares.

Why is the Netherlands the latest EU nation to curb AstraZeneca vaccine rollout?

The AstraZeneca share price fall has also factored in recent rows over vaccine deliveries across the European Union (EU) bloc. The British-Swedish firm has also been hit by a string of EU nations opting to temporarily halt the rollout of the vaccine. The Netherlands is the most recent to scrap 10,000 planned vaccinations after reporting five new cases of blood clotting in females aged between 25 and 65.

The EMA has steadfastly insisted that the AstraZeneca vaccine is ‘safe and effective' to use, in recent weeks. However, the EMA’s safety committee is due to reveal its ‘evaluation of a safety signal’ with AstraZeneca based on ‘cases of thromboembolic events’.

Why are Moderna shares surging in light of the AstraZeneca vaccine uncertainty?

If the MHRA recommends limiting the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to individuals over 30, the Moderna vaccine looks set to benefit as the primary vaccine for Britain’s young adult population.

The UK government’s Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi insists that the government will be ‘led by what the regulator and scientists say is the right thing to do’.

The US-developed Moderna (MRNA.O) vaccine has become the third Covid-19 vaccine to be rolled out in the UK, with 17 million doses ordered by the UK government. The first Moderna batch has reached Wales and Scotland and it will be deployed in England from the third week of April.

With the Moderna vaccine tipped to replace the AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK’s rollout to younger people, it’s no surprise that Moderna shares have soared over 16% in the last week from 118p to highs of 137.67p, showing signs of returning to those February highs.

Ready to buy or sell the AstraZeneca share price?

Take your position on UK shares for just a small initial deposit with spread bets or CFDs. Spread bets are completely tax-free, while CFDs are free from stamp duty.1 You can also buy and take ownership of UK shares for just £3 with us.2

Open an account to start trading or investing in UK shares


1Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK
2Deal three times or more in the previous month to qualify for our best rate

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

Act on share opportunities today

Go long or short on thousands of international stocks with spread bets and CFDs.

  • Get full exposure for a comparatively small deposit
  • Trade on spreads from just 0.1%
  • Get greater order book visibility with direct market access

See opportunity on a stock?

Try a risk-free trade in your demo account, and see whether you’re on to something.

  • Log in to your demo
  • Take your position
  • See whether your hunch pays off

See opportunity on a stock?

Don’t miss your chance – upgrade to a live account to take advantage.

  • Trade a huge range of popular stocks
  • Analyse and deal seamlessly on fast, intuitive charts
  • See and react to breaking news in-platform

See opportunity on a stock?

Don’t miss your chance. Log in to take advantage while conditions prevail.

Live prices on most popular markets

  • Forex
  • Shares
  • Indices

Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All shares prices are delayed by at least 15 mins.

Plan your trading week

Get the week’s market-moving news sent directly to your inbox every Sunday. The Week Ahead gives you a full calendar of upcoming economic events, as well as commentary from our expert analysts on the key markets to watch.

For more info on how we might use your data, see our privacy notice and access policy and privacy webpage.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of spread betting and CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.