AstraZeneca shares (LON: AZN) jumped on the news that the vaccine developed with the University of Oxford has been approved for use.
Shares in AstraZeneca were up 4% at 7,507.97 on Tuesday and are currently up almost 1% at 7,526.84 (1024GMT).
First doses of the vaccine will be given as soon as Monday 4th. The UK has ordered 100 million doses.
The news comes as 53,135 new Covid cases were recorded in the UK this week and millions of more people are expected to placed in Tier 4 restrictions.
“The vaccine is our way out of this,” Matt Hancock told the BBC. “Whereas previously I’ve I hoped we’d be out of this by spring, I now have a high degree of confidence we’ll be out of this by spring.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The priority should be to give as many people in at-risk groups their first dose, rather than providing the required two doses in as short a time as possible.
“Everyone will still receive their second dose and this will be within 12 weeks of their first. The second dose completes the course and is important for longer term protection.”
Analysts from AJ Bell commented on what the rollout of the vaccine would mean for markets, saying: “Buoyed by news of mass inoculation on the UK and other countries, as well as ongoing fiscal and monetary support for economies from governments and central banks, markets seem to be leaning toward this scenario right now, with some investors openly debating the return of inflation.”