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European alliance for coronavirus vaccine announced

France joins Germany, Italy and the Netherlands to develop potential future medicines

France will pool its medical research resources with its neighbours in the fight to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

Four “pioneering” countries—France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands—have already begun working together to ensure that Europe will have a sufficient supply of vaccines, the French government said.

“Negotiating together with our European neighbours will make it possible to guarantee the best conditions for the supply of vaccines to the French and European population,” said health minister Olivier Véran. “The objective is to influence industry to make vaccines a global public good, in accordance with the wishes of the president of the republic.”

Further cooperation with other EU member states and with the United States will be supported through the initiative.

The four countries will follow the most promising vaccine research programmes and are already in contact with numerous pharmaceutical companies. The alliance is now negotiating pre-agreements with these companies in order to develop vaccines as quickly as possible, and to ensure their distribution in Europe and elsewhere.

“The alliance wants to ensure the price of vaccines is fair [so as] to allow for global distribution, thus benefiting the poorest countries, particularly in Africa,” the government said.