Does France have enough vaccine doses?


France has ordered a total of 225 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, which will be delivered during 2021, but some of these vaccines have not yet been approved by health authorities. We explain the deployment campaign and if and when France will have enough doses to complete its plan.
Beginning of vaccinations for those over 75 in France: practical guide

The French government aims to vaccinate around a million people by the end of January and 15 million of the most vulnerable before the summer.

Le Premier ministre Jean Castex a déclaré: «Notre objectif est de vacciner en priorité, le plus rapidement possible, les 15 millions de personnes âgées souffrant de maladies chroniques.

« Si nous [succeed], we will have protected them from health risks and we will have protected our hospitals, ”he said at a press conference on January 7.

The success of this plan depends on which vaccines have not yet been approved for use.

What vaccines has France ordered?

France has ordered six different Covid-19 vaccines, via the European Union, two of which have been approved to date.

All require two doses to be fully effective, with the exception of the Janssen-Johnson & Johnson vaccine which only requires one.

  • Pfizer-BioNTech (approved): total of 49 million doses
  • Moderna (approved): total of 24 million doses
  • AstraZeneca: 44 million doses in total
  • CureVac: Total of 34 million doses
  • Janssen-Johnson & Johnson: 30 millions de doses au total
  • Sanofi-GSK: 45 million doses in total

Total: 225 million doses (approximately)

When will they be delivered?

The graph below shows how many doses of each vaccine France has ordered and when it expects them to be delivered.

The data above shows that with the two vaccines that have been approved to date, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, France will be able to vaccinate the first million people by the end of January as planned and the first 15 millions of people around May or June.

If the AstraZeneca vaccine is also approved, this could happen around April.

If, in the best-case scenario, all vaccines are approved, by June France will receive enough doses to fully immunize 54.5 million people. This takes into account that all vaccines require two doses except Janssen-Johnson & Johnson, which requires one.

If no other vaccine is authorized, France will have sufficient doses to vaccinate around 16 million people by June and around 36 million by the end of 2021.

The total population of France is approximately 67 million inhabitants. Health officials have said about 60% of the population, or 40 million people, will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before the vaccination campaign can be effective.

When will the remaining vaccines be approved?

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine have already been approved by EU health authorities.

France prepares for the arrival of the first doses of Moderna vaccine

The AstraZeneca vaccine is already being rolled out in the UK, but has not yet been sent to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for approval.

This is expected to happen this week, with an approval decision to be made by the end of January.

The EMA has started ongoing reviews of the AstraZeneca and Janssen-Johnson & Johnson vaccines to speed up the process, but none have yet been sent for formal approval.

German company CureVac recently announced a partnership with pharmaceutical giant Bayer to help develop and deliver its vaccine.

It has yet to be sent to the EMA for approval, but Bayer said on Jan. 7 that distribution should hopefully begin in the United States in the second quarter of this year, US magazine Fortune reported.

In December 2020, Sanofi announced a delay in the development of its vaccine.

He said he plans to start a Phase 2b study in February 2021. If the results are positive, a comprehensive Phase 3 study will begin in the second quarter of 2021, which will lead to submissions for approval in the second half of 2021..

This would make the vaccine available from mid-2021 to the fourth quarter of 2021, if all goes well, the company said.

Read more:

Covid-19 vaccine in France: answers to your questions

France opens avenues for the public to register for the Covid vaccine

France will keep the list of people vaccinated against Covid


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