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.
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.