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Vaccines: Sleeping Contracts

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 24 July 2007, Official Report, column 985W, on vaccines: sleeping contracts, when negotiations with the vaccine manufacturers were completed; with which vaccine manufacturers negotiations were held; whether the provision of pre-pandemic vaccines was discussed as part of the negotiations; whether the negotiations have implications for the public purse; and whether he expects to make the statement referred to in the answer alongside publication of an updated pandemic influenza preparedness plan. (154215)

Negotiations for the advanced supply contracts for pandemic specific vaccine were completed with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Baxter in May 2007 and the contracts became operational from 1 July 2007. The contracts are worth in total £155.4 million over four years, and are part of the continued work to prepare for and reduce the impact of a possible flu pandemic. Under these contracts GSK and Baxter are committed to supply a pandemic influenza vaccine to the United Kingdom as soon as the pandemic strain is identified and made available by the World Health Organisation.

Pre-pandemic vaccine did not form part of the negotiations.

A public announcement of the advanced supply agreements was made on 16 August 2007 and is reflected within the updated pandemic influenza preparedness plan which is due to be released shortly.