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Giving the United States priority access to a Sanofi vaccine against the new coronavirus would be “unacceptable,” said a French minister.
“For us, it would be unacceptable that there is a privileged access for such or such country under a pretext which would be a financial pretext”, declared Thursday the Minister for the Economy Agnès Pannier-Runacher in an interview granted to Sud Radio .
The United States will probably be on the front line if Sanofi succeeds in developing a vaccine because the country was the first to finance the research of the French company, said this week CEO Paul Hudson in an interview with Bloomberg News. The United States, which expanded its partnership with the company in February, expects that “if we helped you make the at-risk doses, we expect to get the doses first,” said Hudson.
US should get Sanofi vaccine first if successful, says CEO
Hudson’s comments have highlighted the conflicts faced by multinationals and governments in the race to develop a vaccine against Covid-19. More than 140 world leaders and experts signed an open letter issued by UNAIDS and Oxfam on Thursday calling for a “popular vaccine” and treatments that would be readily available to all for free.
“No one should be pushed to the back of the vaccine queue because of where they live or what they earn,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Health advocates warned that the race could leave out countries that can’t afford protective doses, making them vulnerable to mass deaths and economic wreckage, amid signs that some countries will prioritize their population.
Provision of an experimental shot of theThe University of Oxford will be prioritized for the United Kingdom before other parts of the world, Pascal Soriot, CEO ofAstraZeneca Plc, which will manufacture the vaccine, said last month.
Asked on BFM Business TV whether the United States would be the first to queue for a Sanofi vaccine, Olivier Bogillot, director of Sanofi France, said: “No, I don’t confirm it. It is obvious that if Sanofi discovers a drug, a vaccine against Covid-19 and if it is effective, it will be accessible to everyone. “
Sanofi teamed up with British rivalGlaxoSmithKline Plc on the U.S.-backed project says it could produce 600 million doses a year.
Production of the Sanofi vaccine in the United States will go mainly to this market, while capacity elsewhere will cover Europe and the rest of the world, the company said in a statement sent by email following the Bloomberg report. The drug maker has “very constructive conversations” with the French and German governments andThe institutions of the European Union, he said.
Frenchwoman Pannier-Runacher said she immediately contacted Sanofi after Hudson’s interview, and the local head of the company confirmed that the vaccine would be available in all countries, including France, in particular because the company has a production capacity there.
– With the help of James Paton, Riley Griffin and Cynthia Koons