Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO (Raphael Lafargue/Abaca/Sipa USA; Sipa via AP Images)

One of the gi­ant vac­cine play­ers push­es back against a ‘fun­da­men­tal shift’ spurred by mR­NA. But is the CEO just whistling past the grave­yard?

If one thing is com­plete­ly clear, the pan­dem­ic has rewrit­ten the rule book on fast vac­cine de­vel­op­ment, with the new mR­NA jabs from Mod­er­na $MR­NA and BioN­Tech $BN­TX — part­nered with Pfiz­er — emerg­ing as head and shoul­ders above what’s been seen from the gi­ants that have dom­i­nat­ed this field for decades.

Every year, the new flu vac­cines have un­der­scored how er­rat­ic their pro­tec­tion has been, start­ing with some ed­u­cat­ed but of­ten er­rant guess­ing on dom­i­nant strains. And now Sanofi/GSK has stum­bled bad­ly, forced to start over on Covid-19 af­ter fail­ing among the most vul­ner­a­ble sub­jects. Mer­ck tried, late, then failed and im­me­di­ate­ly bowed out. As­traZeneca $AZN has been be­dev­iled by ques­tions about its vac­cine’s ef­fi­ca­cy, par­tic­u­lar­ly re­gard­ing the new vari­ants and old­er peo­ple.

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