Headquartered in Paris, Sanofi received funding from the US government to develop a vaccine for Covid-19. As a result, the United States has “the right to the largest pre-order because it’s invested in taking the risk,” the company’s CEO, Paul Hudson, told Bloomberg News.
The French government has disputed this line of reasoning, insisting that no nation should be given priority once the vaccine is created.
“For us, it would be unacceptable that there be privileged access for this or that country on a pretext that would be a financial pretext,” Pannier-Runacher said during a radio interview on Thursday.
The company has apparently altered its original position, explaining that production on American soil will go towards the US market. The vaccine will also be manufactured in France, and made immediately available to Europe. The head of Sanofi France insisted that if an effective medicine is discovered, it would be “available to all.”
The rush to create an effective treatment against Covid-19 has led to concerns that some countries, especially less developed nations, could be left behind to struggle with the pandemic on their own.
UK residents have been given priority for an experimental vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford, according to AstraZeneca, which will manufacture the shot.
The global fight against Covid-19 has exposed cracks in the transatlantic alliance between Washington and its European partners. In April, French officials accused the US of hijacking shipments of personal protection equipment (PPE) by doling out cash to China at the last minute, rerouting much-needed supplies that were originally destined for Europe.