Those comments did not sit well in Paris.
“For us, it would be unacceptable if there were privileged access from this or that country under a pretext that would be a monetary pretext,” France’s state secretary for economy and finance, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, told France’s Sud Radio on Thursday.
Hudson’s comments and further messaging from Sanofi on Thursday may be part of an effort to prod European governments to invest more in vaccine research. But by Thursday morning, the company appeared to be backpedaling somewhat.
Olivier Bogillot, head of Sanofi’s French division, told France’s BFMTV network that the vaccine would be available to Europeans at the same time as Americans if the European Union were as “efficient” a partner.
“If we discover a vaccine, it will be accessible to everyone — the Americans and the Europeans will have it at the same time,” Bogillot said. “The words of Paul Hudson were misunderstood; he was just calling on the European Union to be more efficient.”
“For me, the debate is closed,” he said. “The vaccine, if discovered, will be made available to French patients.”