“The US government has the greatest right to pre-orders because it has been invested to take risks,” Hudson told Bloomberg. The United States hopes “that if we have helped you make a risky dose, we hope to get the first dose,” he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement that any Covid-19 vaccine must be treated as “public goods for the world, and not subject to market law.”
“Sanofi cannot be accepted to order the Covid-19 vaccine as a priority, if you want to find one, to one country or another for financial reasons,” French finance deputy minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher said in a separate statement Thursday.
Jean-Baptiste Froville, a spokesman for the French pharmaceutical giant, said in a statement on Friday that Hudson’s comments had been misinterpreted.
The priority given to the US government is only vaccines made by Sanofi in the United States, and the company aims to make it as fast as possible on all its sites, Froville said.
“Vaccine production with speed and in large numbers is a capital-intensive operation that can only be financed with the help of state funds. This is happening in the United States,” he added.
“In Europe, discussions are ongoing,” Froville said. “There is no equivalent to BARDA outside the United States. But talks with the European Union and a number of its member countries, including France, are progressing. We are confident in our ability to reach an agreement in the coming weeks,” he added. .
Sanofi is one of the biggest players among dozens of companies looking for a new coronavirus vaccine, which some experts see as the only way to enable a battered economy to be safely reopened. The airline operates production facilities in France and 31 other countries throughout the world.
The World Health Organization has called for international solidarity in the fight against coronavirus, due to growing concern that there may be uneven access to any potential vaccine.
“Countries, health partners, producers and the private sector must act together and ensure that the fruits of science and research can benefit everyone,” director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement last month.