LONDON — British pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca on Thursday said it had obtained more than $1.0 billion (0.9 billion euros) from the United States to help fund the production of a coronavirus vaccine.

It comes amid concerns that the US could have a vaccine before other countries thanks to its large-scale funding of pharmaceutical companies around the world.

France has already slammed drugs giant Sanofi for suggesting the US would get any eventual vaccine first, as world leaders demand that the science should be shared among nations.

“AstraZeneca today received support of more than $1.0 billion from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the development, production, and delivery of the vaccine,” a statement said.

AstraZeneca is partnering with the University of Oxford to develop and distribute the coronavirus vaccine, which is being trialed in the United Kingdom.

The US funding is far greater than that of Britain, whose government has given just £20 million ($24.4 million/22.3 million euros) towards the development of the vaccine.

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