France orders $1.4B worth of flu shots

Not to be outdone by its neighbors, France has ordered a whopping 94 million doses of swine flu vaccine. The government plans to spend almost €1 billion on those doses--$1.4 billion--with contracts to homegrown Sanofi-Aventis as well as GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis. And it's counting on two doses per recipient, so the orders will be enough to cover almost three-fourths of the population, Reuters reports.

France has tapped GlaxoSmithKline for 50 million doses and Novartis for 16 million, with an option for 8 million more. The Sanofi contract covers 28 million doses, with an option for 28 million more. The vaccines are expected for delivery between October and January, Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot said.

As you know, U.K. has now ordered enough vaccine to treat its entire population, with those orders going to GlaxoSmithKline and Baxter. Germany plans to cover one-third of its people with 50 million doses.

- see the release from Sanofi
- get the Sanofi details from Manufacturing Chemist
- see the story from Reuters
- get more from AFP