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Coronavirus developments at a glance—15 May

Vaccine row brews in France, concerns for students in the UK

France-headquartered pharmaceutical company Sanofi has become the subject of outrage, after its chief executive reportedly said US citizens would get priority for a Covid-19 vaccine the company is developing, as the country had invested in its development.

Pressure on academics to switch research focus and go after Covid-19 funding during the pandemic has created a flood of projects and papers, including those of questionable quality, a number of scientists have said. Several researchers have told Research Professional News that they do not expect to return to their labs immediately, despite the government’s attempt to reopen parts of the economy this week, including research facilities.

In an open letter to universities minister Michelle Donelan, shadow universities minister Emma Hardy warns she is becoming “increasingly concerned” by evidence showing that many students are receiving “patchy” support from universities’ hardship funds. England’s regulator has focused on how universities can help estranged students in the latest of a series of briefings to help institutions cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

New Zealand
New Zealand’s finance minister Grant Robertson has announced an unprecedented $50 billion Covid-19 response and recovery fund as the main focus of the government’s 2020 budget.