French Sanofi Covid-19 vaccine ‘not ready for a few months’

People should get vaccinated now, rather than wait says the president of the pharmaceutical company 

10 August 2021

Olivier Bogillot, president of Sanofi, said people should use existing vaccines in a LinkedIn post Pic: Syda Productions / Shutterstock

By Joanna York

The Sanofi Covid-19 vaccine will not be ready for a few months and people should use available vaccines now rather than wait, the president of the pharmaceutical company has said.

In a LinkedIn post, Olivier Bogillot wrote: “Don’t wait to get vaccinated!

“I have heard some people say they would rather wait and get the Sanofi vaccine. I thank them for their trust in Sanofi, but our vaccine will not be ready for a few months. 

Waiting will only increase the risk and prolong the circulation of the virus.”

Last month Mr Bogillot told Europe 1 that Sanofi has been slower than other pharmaceutical companies to release a Covid-19 vaccine due to the kind of vaccine the laboratory has chosen to produce.

As well as an RNA messenger vaccine (using the same technology as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines), Sanofi is also producing a recombinant protein vaccine, using the same technology as one of its existing flu vaccines.

Mr Bogillot said: “We knew that this would take longer than an RNA messenger vaccine or an Adenovirus vaccine [such as AstraZeneca] but we took it on because we said, if the two other kinds do not work, maybe ours will.”

He said it was a “very good thing” that different producers were testing different technologies in their vaccines as it would ultimately lead to patients getting the most effective vaccine against the virus.

 Mr Bogillot said the vaccines currently available in France were “safe and effective”. 

 The vast majority of vaccines delivered in France so far have been Pfizer-BioNTech, with more than 61.4million doses administered, figures from VaccinTracker show.

 This is followed by AstraZeneca (7.7million), Moderna (7.6million) and Johnson & Johnson (918,459).

 He went on to say that vaccines “save lives, reduce serious consequences from Covid-19 and slow circulation of the virus.

“They also protect hospitals from a preventable new wave of patients, allowing them to concentrate on patients who do not have Covid and need care.

“The coming weeks will define what happens during la rentrée in September. We all want to end the health crisis, so I say to you, don’t wait. Get vaccinated now!”.

As of August 8, 44,661,815 people in France have received a first dose of the vaccine (equivalent to 66.6% of the population).

Of these, 37,241,404 (55.5%) are fully vaccinated.

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