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French based Sanofi will ship COVID-19 vaccine to the US first

Published on 14/05/20 at 12:48pm
Official White House Photo by Keegan Barber

French based pharmaceutical company Sanofi has announced it will ship its COVID-19 vaccine that is in development to the US first.

Paul Hudson, the company’s Chief Executive, has said this is due to the US government funding the vaccine. He told Bloomberg that: “The US government has the right to the largest pre-order because it's invested in taking the risk. That's how it will be because they've invested to try and protect their population, to restart their economy.”

This has caused outrage from French politicians and health officials who highlighted how Sanofi has benefited from millions of Euros of research credit from the government.

France’s deputy Finance Minister, Agnese Pannier-Runacher, told local media today, that: “For us, it would be unacceptable for there to be privileged access to such and such a country for financial reasons. The head of Sanofi's French division confirmed to me that a vaccine would be available in every country and obviously to the French as well, not least because it has production capacity in France.”

In April, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi joined forces to work on a vaccine with the project being funded in part by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the US Department of Health.

Moncef Slaoui, the former head of vaccine development at GSK, is expected to lead a task force in the US responsible for mass producing a vaccine for the country. Sanofi’s product is just one of several they are monitoring as the most suitable candidate.

Conor Kavanagh

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