DoH signs deal to secure swine flu vaccine supply

The DoH has announced that agreements have been signed between the UK government and vaccine manufacturers to secure supplies of up to 90 million doses of pre-pandemic H1N1 vaccine before a pandemic begins.

Photograph: istock
Photograph: istock

The deals signed between health secretary Alan Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, and Baxter will enable production of pre-pandemic vaccine to begin as soon as possible.

The agreements could provide enough vaccine to protect the most vulnerable people in the population before a pandemic arrives, without affecting supplies of seasonal flu vaccine.

Mr Johnson said: 'Scientists tell us that as yet we don't know enough about this novel strain, or whether it's likely to mutate, but that this virus has the potential to become a pandemic and we can't predict how serious that would be.

'We have an opportunity to secure vaccine in advance of a pandemic wave. We have advance purchase agreements to provide vaccine for the entire UK population which will take effect when Phase 6 pandemic is declared. It will then take over a year for all the vaccine necessary to be provided.’

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