“250 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines made in France in 2021: that’s our objective,” Macron said on Twitter.
“It begins from today with the first BioNTech-Pfizer vaccines produced on the Delpharm site at Saint-Remy-sur-Avre” east of Paris, he added.
250 millions de doses de vaccins Covid-19 produites en France en 2021 : voilà notre objectif.
Cela commence concrètement dès aujourd'hui avec les premiers vaccins BioNTech-Pfizer produits sur le site Delpharm de Saint-Rémy-sur-Avre : bravo à toutes les équipes !
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 7, 2021
The production represents a deal with French pharma firms, which have not yet produced a licensed vaccine, to use their facilities to increase production of vaccines in Europe.
The vaccines were made in BioNTech’s factory in Germany — they arrived in France on Tuesday, where subcontractor Delpharm is charged with putting the vaccines into vials which will then be delivered to centres for distribution.
They are not destined just for France, with Delpharm telling AFP the country would receive its proportion of allocated doses among EU states – around 15 percent.
Another company will begin filing Moderna vaccines in central France in a few days, with the Johnson & Johnson and CureVac vaccines to follow soon after.
France’s inoculation drive got off to a slow start but has ramped up in recent weeks, with the country expected to hit on Thursday its mid April target of 10 million people getting at least one dose of the vaccine.
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Almost 400,000 vaccinations in France today. Overall, they are now only 200,000 short of the target of 10m first injections by 15 April. Barring earthquakes they should exceed the target tomorrow, 7 days early. https://t.co/OY38fHPV4o
— John Lichfield (@john_lichfield) April 7, 2021
On Wednesday 9.7 million people had received their first dose and 3.3 million had received both doses.
The government says that every adult who wants the vaccine will be able to get it ‘by the end of the summer’.