Macron calls for pharma giants to donate Covid vaccines to poorer nations

French President Emmanuel Macron has called on pharma groups producing Covid-19 vaccines to donate 10 percent of their production to poorer nations and has set a new target for vaccinations in Africa.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaking at the G7 Summit
French President Emmanuel Macron speaking to reporters ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall Photo: Pascal Rossignol | AFP

“Donations of doses by states have to be supplemented by donations of doses by pharmaceutical companies,” Macron told a news conference at the G7 Summit in Cornwall, Britain, on Thursday, adding that states had helped fund vaccine research and it was “legitimate” to ask for a contribution from the companies.

G7 leaders are expected to agree to expand Covid vaccine manufacturing to provide at least one billion doses globally through sharing schemes.

Macron also called for G7 leaders meeting on Friday to back a goal of getting 60 percent of Africans vaccinated by the end of March 2022.

The 60 percent target was suggested by the Africa CentresĀ for Disease Control and Prevention.

He said the figure was more ambitious than that provided for by the Covax jab scheme for poorer nations, which aims to immunise 20 percent of Africans
by the end of 2021.

“I think it’s a good objective and it is the one we will endorse at the G7,” Macron told journalists.

EU members have agreed to donate least 100 million doses by the end of 2021, with France and Germany each committing to providing 30 million shots.

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France approves new vaccines for Covid Omicron sub-variants

France's health authority said Tuesday it had approved three new vaccines against the prevalent Omicron sub-variants of the Covid-19 virus, in a bid to prevent a jump in infections as colder weather approaches.

France approves new vaccines for Covid Omicron sub-variants

The so-called “bivalent: shots, approved by the European Medicines Agency earlier this month, target the BA.1, BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants, now responsible for the bulk of new cases since the outbreak began worldwide in early 2020.

French authorities are urging at-risk patients — including those over 60 or adults with pre-existing conditions — to get the bivalent vaccines as part of its booster campaign.

“The number of infections has again started rising in the past few days,” the HAS health authority said, noting that the BA.5 sub-variant was causing the most new cases.

The new vaccine targeting the highly contagious BA.4 and BA.5 types is made by Pfizer and BioNTech, while jabs from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are for BA.1.