European Commission guarantees Member States access to 665,000 doses of zoonotic avian influenza vaccines

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Today, June 11, European Commission Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA)As part of its preparedness mandate, signed on behalf of participating Member States a joint procurement framework contract for the supply of up to 665,000 doses of the pre-pandemic Seqirus zoonotic influenza vaccine, with an option for a further 40 million doses over the life of the contract. Through this contract, participating Member States will have access to medical countermeasures to prevent avian influenza.

The European Commission is committed to protecting those people who come into most contact with these animals.

The vaccine is intended for people most susceptible to possible transmission of avian influenza from birds or animals, such as poultry farm workers and veterinarians. Its goal is to prevent the spread or possible outbreaks of bird flu in Europe, protecting citizens and their livelihoods. This vaccine is the only prophylactic vaccine against zoonotic avian influenza currently authorized in the EU.

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Fifteen EU and EEA Member States are participating in this voluntary procurement along with Seqirus UK Ltd. The contract allows each participating country to take into account the public health context and order vaccines based on national needs. The maximum duration of the contract will be 4 years.

At the request of an EU Member State, supplies are currently being prepared for Finland for the immediate vaccination of workers at risk of infection. Deliveries to other participating countries will follow.

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Development of an avian influenza vaccine for adults

Seqirus UK Ltd has a modified EU marketing authorization for this vaccine for adults, which protects against influenza caused by H5 strains of influenza A virus.

The EU’s joint procurement mechanism is set out in the EU Joint Procurement Agreement on Medical Countermeasures, signed by 36 countries, including all EU and EEA member states. This mechanism allows participating countries to jointly procure medical countermeasures on a voluntary and flexible basis. These countermeasures include vaccines, therapeutics and medical supplies and can be used as an alternative or complement to domestic procurement.

The agreement provides fairer access to specific medical countermeasures and improves security of supply, as well as more balanced prices for participating countries. The agreement also promotes preparations at EU level for public health crises or pandemics.

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