British pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca on Thursday said it had secured more than $1.0 billion from the United States to help fund production of its coronavirus vaccine.
AstraZeneca is partnering with University of Oxford to develop and distribute a vaccine being trialled in the UK. It comes amid concerns that the United States - which has the world's highest official death rate from COVID-19 - could have a vaccine before other countries thanks to its large-scale funding of multinational pharmaceutical companies.
France has slammed Paris-based drugs giant Sanofi for suggesting the US would receive its vaccine first, as world leaders demand that the science should be shared among nations. AstraZeneca said it had "received support of more than $1.0 billion from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine".