CSL (ASX:CSL) share price up after new AstraZeneca advice

Amid a change in policy as to who can receive the AstraZeneca jab, CSL has declared it will continue making the vaccine even if Australia phases it out

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The CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price is gaining today. This comes amid conflicting news from the Federal Government regarding the AstraZeneca plc (LSE: AZN) COVID-19 vaccine.

At the time of writing, the CSL share price is $289.62 – 0.42% higher than yesterday’s close.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has been a crown jewel for the biotech company since September, when it announced it was to manufacture the vaccine in Melbourne. The CSL share price has often reacted to news of the vaccine’s use in Australia.

Despite numerous changes to Australia’s use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, CSL is determined to keep manufacturing it in Australia.

Late last night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced adults of any age can now request the AstraZeneca vaccine from their general practitioner.

This follows last week’s news that the Federal Government plans to phase out the AstraZeneca vaccine in coming months.

Let’s take a look at the latest news from CSL and of AstraZeneca’s position in the vaccine rollout.

AstraZeneca and the vaccine rollout

In the latest news of the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia, the Federal Government is implementing a new no fault indemnity scheme for doctors giving COVID-19 vaccines.

This means all Australians able to be vaccinated can request to get the AstraZeneca jab through their general practitioner.

Previously, Australians aged over 60 were the only cohort able to receive the AstraZeneca shot due to its side effects, which include a one-in-200,000 chance of potentially deadly blood clots.

Word from the Prime Minister of flexibility in the age restrictions comes only days after the Federal Government released its vaccine distribution projections. Originally given to states and territories, the projections outlined the government’s plans to phase out the AstraZeneca vaccine.

That document stated that from October, states and physicians wanting additional AstraZeneca vaccines will have to specifically request their availability.

In comments published by The Australian, CSL declared it won’t stop manufacturing the embattled vaccine. It stated it may instead ship those produced in Melbourne overseas, as demand from other countries is thriving.

Chris Larkins, senior vice president of operations for CSL’s vaccine producer Seqirus, was quoted by the publication as saying:

[The previous decision to restrict who can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine] is very much an Australian decision, based on what’s happening in Australia and the lack of any sort of real transmission of Covid, we’ve had governments calling us up from around the world saying ‘we’ll take it’.

Today may be an interesting day for the CSL share price. Major news of Australia’s use of the AstraZeneca vaccine often inspires excitement from the market.

CSL share price snapshot

The CSL share price needs all the good news it can get after battling a tough 2021 on the ASX.

Currently, shares in CSL have gained just 1.5% year to date. However, the CSL share price has fallen 0.1% since this time last year.

The company has a market capitalisation of around $131 billion, with approximately 455 million shares outstanding.

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The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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