20:07 GMT28 February 2021
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    The EU and the UK have locked horns over coronavirus vaccine supplies as Brussels has demanded that AstraZeneca hand over some 75 million doses of its vaccine, manufactured at its British plant.

    UK shares dropped on Thursday amid lockdown-triggered demand worries and disputes over vaccine supplies between the European Union and AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish pharmaceutical company. Stocks have dropped to their lowest point since last month.

    After the EU requested that AstraZeneca use the UK’s production facilities to mitigate the shortage in vaccine supply, the pharmaceutical company’s shares have dropped for the second consecutive day.

    Following the news that British airline EasyJet would be able to use no more than 10 percent of its 2019 capacity during the period of January-March, its shares declined 2.2 percent.

    Earlier this week, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that producers of vaccines would have to inform the EU well in advance of any contracts to export vaccines to non-EU countries. She stressed the bloc wanted a return on its "investment" in vaccine development, making a hint that exports would be restricted to ensure faster roll-out within the EU.

    On Wednesday, the production of the AstraZeneca vaccine was temporarily halted after a suspicious package was discovered at one of the company’s facilities.

    Tags:
    Vaccine, lockdown, Stock Market, COVID-19, UK
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