The Pocono Mountains region plays a crucial role in keeping people around the world free from disease. In 2017, Sanofi Pasteur U.S. celebrated the 120th anniversary of operations at its 500-acre, 50-building production facility campus in Swiftwater in Monroe County. Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of France-based pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, is the world’s largest producer of the influenza vaccine. The company's U.S. headquarters campus in Swiftwater produces 1 billion doses of vaccine produces each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people worldwide.
“During the past 15 years, the company has experienced considerable growth, spending more than $1.3 billion in capital investments, doubling its acreage, and more than doubling its total number of employees,” says Ellyn Schindler, director of North America corporate social responsibility and community engagement at Sanofi Pasteur. “Our site currently employs more than 2,500 employees and several hundred contractors.”
Besides influenza vaccines, the Swiftwater site manufactures, fills, formulates, inspects and packages vaccines for diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infections, meningitis, pertussis and tetanus. Sanofi Pasteur is one of only four global producers of the yellow fever vaccine. The company is also studying vaccine candidates to help prevent dengue fever and symptomatic Clostridium difficile infection.
The Swiftwater campus has an illustrious history. Dr. Richard Slee established the Swiftwater operation in 1897 as Pocono Biological Laboratories. Its first influenza vaccine was created there in 1947. Today, Schindler notes, the company gives back to the community in many ways.
“In 2016 alone, Sanofi Pasteur donated more than $1 million to nonprofit organizations, the majority of which are located in Northeast Pennsylvania,” she says. “Sanofi Pasteur and their employees are the single-largest contributors to our area’s United Way annual campaign.”