ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA / REUTERS
Dressed in a white lab coat with the logo of Sanofi and a surgical mask blue, it is a air careful that Emmanuel Macron listens to the scientists detail the manufacture of a vaccine. This Tuesday, June 16, the president of the Republic visit the website of Marcy-l’etoile, near Lyon, where the pharmaceutical giant has just announced an investment of nearly half a billion euros in a new plant for “secure supplies of vaccines in France and Europe in the case of new pandemics “.
Distancing physical forces, Paul Hudson, executive director of the group, follows a few steps behind, trying to comply with the marking blue to the ground. A month earlier, it had created controversy by suggesting that Americans would benefit in priority of a vaccine against the Covid-19 as a result of agreements at their investment in research. The hatchet seems to be buried, but the battle for the access to vaccine has only just begun.
“Never before has the vaccine was not at this point considered as a strategic asset, essential to the national security, economic recovery and public health “, notes the American, Sweat lodge and Moon, co-director of the Global Health Center of the Institute of high international and development studies (graduate institute) in Geneva.
While the epidemic has already killed approximately 470 000 lives, the immunization of the population against SARS-CoV-2 seems to be one of the only doors out of the crisis. According to a modelling of the Pasteur Institute, between 3 % and 7% of the population would have been infected by the coronavirus appeared the end of 2019 in China. Far from the 60 % to 70 % required, according to experts, to achieve a ” herd immunity “. All agree on the fact that “we’re going to have to learn to live with the virus.”
From the month of January, and the alerts came from China, the researchers specializing in infectious diseases have little doubt that the SARS-Cov-2 has all the features of the disease ” X “, a pathology still unknown, added in 2018 by the world health Organization (WHO) in its list of infections that are likely to represent a “danger world “.
At the end of January, while the chinese president, Xi Jinping, admits that the situation is “serious” and that the epidemic “accelerates “, the scientists are already in the starting blocks for a vaccine. They belong to major research institutions – the university of Oxford in the United Kingdom, the Institut Pasteur in France, Harvard in the United States – or to the R&D of large pharmaceutical companies – Sanofi, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, all wonder about the strategy to adopt in the face of this virus which one knows nothing yet.
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