In London, the FTSE 100 dropped by as much as 1%, while the French CAC fell by 1.4% and the German DAX was 1.2% lower. 

The drop comes as the CEO of drugmaker Moderna, Stephane Bancel, told the Financial Times that he fears that current coronavirus vaccines are unlikely to be as effective against the Omicron strain

Bancel said, “There is no world, I think, where the effectiveness is the same level . . . we had with the Delta variant.

I think it’s going to be a material drop. I just don’t know how much because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to . . . are like, ‘This is not going to be good’.”

In addition to Bancel’s warning, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has also said that Omicron poses a “very high” global risk. However, both BioNTech and Pfizer have suggested that a new vaccine could be modified relatively quickly if the need should arise.