The US would be the first to get a potential coronavirus vaccine being created by a French company, its CEO said

Carl Recine/ReutersScientists are seen working on a potential vaccine for COVID-19 in Keele, Britain.
  • The US would be first country to get a potential coronavirus vaccine if it’s successfully made by French pharmaceutical company Sanofi.
  • Because the US “invested in taking the risk” first, it would also be first to receive the vaccine, Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson told Bloomberg News.
  • The comments raise questions about how distribution would be handled once a vaccine is created.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The US would be the first to receive a potential coronavirus vaccine if French pharmaceutical company Sanofi is able to produce it.

Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson told Bloomberg that “the US government has the right to the largest pre-order because it’s invested in taking the risk.”

He said that the United States was first to fund the company’s research, so it expects “that if we’ve helped you manufacture the doses at risk, we expect to get the doses first.”

After receiving a boost from the US in February, Sanofi has partnered on the search for a vaccine with British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

The European companies’ research is among over 100 efforts to find a vaccine for the coronavirus.


Read more: Scientists are racing to create a coronavirus vaccine that can halt the pandemic in its tracks. Here are the top 3 candidates aiming to be ready this fall.

The comments from Sanofi are likely to rekindle questions over how a potential vaccine would be distributed. Experts have told Business Insider that without a concrete plan for distribution, chaos could ensue.

Inside the US, some have suggested prioritising healthcare workers as the first to receive the vaccine. But distributing the vaccine on a global scale will likely be complicated by politics and logistics.

In a statement to Business Insider, Sanofi said that the company is committed to making its vaccine “accessible to everyone” and that it has manufacturing capabilities in the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world. Vaccines would be distributed in areas where they are produced, the company said.

Sanofi’s partnership with the US “allows [us] to initiate production as early as possible while we continue to develop and register the vaccine.”

Hudson told Bloomberg he is pushing European leaders to invest more in a vaccine, saying that the region could be left behind as other countries pursue vaccine research through funding.

The French Embassy in Washington referred Business Insider to the French Health Ministry, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I’ve been campaigning in Europe to say the US will get vaccines first,” Hudson said. “That’s how it will be because they have invested to try and protect their population, to restart their economy.”

Sanofi said in its statement that it is “very encouraged to see the mobilisation of the EU Commission over the past weeks” and that the company is having “very constructive conversations with the EU institutions and the French and German government amongst others.”

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