Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson's comments prompted angry reaction from the French government
Dozens of vaccine candidates in earlier stages of development are being pursued around the world
PARIS: French pharmaceutical group Sanofi ensured Thursday that it would make its COVID-19 vaccine, when ready, available in all countries, hours after the the company's CEO said the United States will get first access.
Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson's comments prompted angry reaction from the French government.
Junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said on Sud Radio “to us, it would be unacceptable that a country would get privileged access under the pretext of money reasons."
In a statement released Thursday, Sanofi said “we have always been committed in these unprecedented circumstances to make our vaccine accessible to everyone."
Sanofi said its cooperation with U.S. agency BARDA allows the company “to initiate production as early as possible." The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has funded the development of the vaccine.
Hudson had previously told Bloomberg news agency that the U.S. would get first access to the French company’s COVID-19 vaccine.
“The U.S. government has the right to the largest pre-order because it’s invested in taking the risk," he said.
Sanofi is pushing for “similar measures" to be taken in the European Union to accelerate vaccine development and access to the population.