The news that global tobacco giant British American Tobacco (BAT) is working on a potential Covid-19 vaccine using its biotechnology subsidiary Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP) was met with excitement, swiftly followed by a great deal of scepticism. After all, BAT says it’s hopeful that with the right partners it could be producing a vaccine by June. Yet for other companies, like US group Moderna, whose main business is the creation of vaccines and not tobacco, the length of time to produce a vaccine is still regarded as 12 to 18 months. We asked BAT’s chief marketing officer, Kingsley Wheaton, why the group is so confident of its vaccine potential.

KW: It really hinges on the manner in which our vaccine is produced and developed. We put out that press release [about it] because we believe it is important for what we have in terms of technology and capability to be known to the world. Were we supposed to hide that from the world in this time of crisis? I think not. In terms of the...

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