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Pfizer vaccine: who will get it first and when can we get it?

PANDEMIC - The announcement of a 90% effective vaccine against Covid-19, developed by the American Pfizer and the German BioNTtech, continues to raise immense hope but also a number of questions. Starting with the question of supply.

50 million doses in 2020, 1.3 billion in 2021. The future potential vaccine against Covid-19 has not yet been marketed as orders are already pouring in from around the world. Americans who have pre-ordered 600 million doses say vaccinations could start before the end of the year. And the Europeans, who have pre-purchased 200 million doses and will sign in the coming days for 100 million additional doses, hope to be able to have them in early 2021.


Who will be vaccinated first?


The only certainty for now is that the American laboratory Pfizer will not be able to produce billions of doses overnight. 'There will be very few quantities available in the coming months. And probably, the first quantities will be reserved for the countries of production, ie Germany and the United States. There will be an order of priority and the other countries will have to wait ', estimates the economist Frédéric Bizard, specialist in health issues.


The US Department of Health has indeed largely funded research on the vaccine against Covid-19. "It is practically two billion dollars which were granted to Pfizer" , underlines Nathalie Coutinet, teacher-researcher at the Sorbonne University Paris Nord. 'When a state funds research for its population, it is relying on the taxes that have been levied on that population. So it is relatively logical that research that has been funded by the US government benefits the people of the United States first. United States, 'she argues.


What is Europe's strategy?


The strategy of Europe, and therefore of France, can be summed up in one expression: never put all your eggs in one basket. The European Union has signed agreements with laboratories other than Pfizer, notably AstraZeneca (400 million doses), Johnson-Johnson (400 million), Sanofi (300 million), CureVac (225 million) and Moderna (80 million) , or a total of 1,705,000,000 doses already ordered by the Europeans. 'France is part of what is called the inclusive alliance for the vaccine with three other European countries, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The European strategy has been to make pre-orders from the various laboratories so as to guarantee the supply ', explains economist Nathalie Coutinet.


France will have vaccines, remains to be seen when? 'There will be production in Europe, via BioNtech in Germany and Pfizer in Belgium, which will allow France as well as other European countries to be supplied within a reasonable time. But not before spring or summer 2021', estimates Nathalie Coutinet. The prospect of an effective vaccine against Covid-19 is "encouraging" but it is "very early" to decide on the conditions of its deployment in France, estimated Tuesday the spokesman of the government Gabriel Attal, recalling that one and a half billion euros were provided for the purchase of vaccine doses in the budget of the social security for 2021. Tuesday morning, the biologist MEP Yannick Jadot said he was supportive of making this antibody obligatory.

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