France says 'unacceptable' for Sanofi to give US virus vaccine first

15 Mai, 2020, 00:27 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • France cries foul as Sanofi says US to get virus vaccine first

Those comments did not sit well in Paris.

Junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher described it as "unacceptable" that any country would be given "privileged access" on a "financial pretext".

Hudson said the relationship should serve as a "model" of how government collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry should work.

Newsweek acquired a new statement released by Sanofi on Thursday, which seemed to address the wave of backlash from French authorities regarding Hudson's comments about vaccine orders to the U.S. In it, the company said it aimed to create a universally accessible vaccine.

The French government has criticised the announcement by Sanofi that the first vaccines against Covid-19 would be sold to the United States.

"Equal access to this vaccine for all is not negotiable", Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter.

Hudson has also been summoned to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron next week, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Early in the coronavirus outbreak, France came under heavy criticism for its reluctance to share protective medical equipment with its European neighbors. "I've been campaigning in Europe to say the U.S. will get vaccines first".

The EU organised a global fundraising effort this month for vaccine research which won around $8 billion - but Washington pointedly refused to take part. The United States has the highest death toll at 83,720.

The EU, some of whose members have been among the hardest hard hit by the pandemic, fears it may not have sufficient supplies, especially if a vaccine were developed in the United States or China.

Heralding an Oxford University trial last month, for instance, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said citizens of Britain should have preference if the trials proved successful.

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The agency that approves medicine for the European Union said Thursday that in an optimistic scenario, a vaccine could be approved by early 2021.

Sanofi Pasteur, the Lyon-based vaccinces division of the company, is now working on two experiments to find a vaccine against the coronavirus disease, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The company is now working on two vaccines project against Covid-19, one with British rival GlaxoSmithKline Plc that has received financial support from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the US Health Department and another with US company Translate Bio that will use a different technology.

Sanofi said it expects to launch human trials for that vaccine in the second half of 2020.

Luckily, when it comes to the Sanofi vaccine, the jury is still out on whether the US will indeed have priority.

But by Thursday morning, the company appeared to be backpedaling somewhat.

Sanofi's chief in France, Olivier Bogillot, sought to play down his boss's comments on Thursday, saying "the goal is to have this vaccine available to the USA as well as France and Europe at the same time".

The company said that remainder of its vaccine manufacturing capacity will cover Europe and the rest of the world.

Paul Hudson told Bloomberg that he has been pushing European leaders to invest more in vaccine.

"For me, the debate is closed", he said. The vaccine will also be manufactured in France, and made immediately available to Europe. For both countries, priority access is implicit.

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