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France started mass production of Covid-19 vaccines on Wednesday, announced drug manufacturer and developer Delpharm. Ultimately, at least four sites should be mobilized on the territory with the objective of producing 250 million doses during the year.
Production of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine begins in France. The first anti-Covid-19 vaccines produced on French soil were, as planned, bottled on Wednesday April 7, confirmed the subcontractor Delpharm in charge of the operation. An event hailed by President Emmanuel Macron, even if the doses will not be intended only for the French.
“It started this Wednesday morning,” told AFP the Delpharm group, which bottles these Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in Eure-et-Loir, confirming an announcement a few minutes earlier by Emmanuel Macron on Twitter.
“250 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines produced in France in 2021: this is our goal,” said Emmanuel Macron. “It begins in concrete terms today with the first BioNTech-Pfizer vaccines produced on the Delpharm site in Saint-Rémy-sur-Avre: well done to all the teams!” He said.
250 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines produced in France in 2021: this is our goal.
It begins today with the first BioNTech-Pfizer vaccines produced on the Delpharm site in Saint-Rémy-sur-Avre: congratulations to all the teams!
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 7, 2021
One month to be approved
The vaccines in question were delivered in bulk to Delpharm on Tuesday from BioNTech’s plant in Marburg, Germany, where they are manufactured. Delpharm is responsible for putting them in the vials which will ultimately be distributed to the vaccinators.
Even if they leave the French factory on Wednesday, they will not be immediately injected because it will take almost a month to approve them.
Thereafter, they will not be specifically dedicated to the French. Delpharm told AFP that the proportion should correspond to the quota of anti-Covid vaccines planned by the European Union for France on all of its orders, or around 15%.
Soon Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines produced in France
In a few days, a competitor of Delpharm will begin to bottle Moderna vaccines in Indre-et-Loire.
At the end of May, the Fareva company will take care of the CureVac vaccine – not yet approved in the EU – in the Eure and in the Pyrénées-Atlantique.
Finally, the giant Sanofi will lend a hand from this summer to its competitor Johnson & Johnson by bottling its vaccine, near Lyon.
Already approved in the EU but subject to restrictions for certain age groups, the AstraZeneca vaccine is currently not supposed to be bottled in France.