UKHSA and CSL Seqirus Forge Agreement to Produce Millions of Influenza Vaccines in the UK for Future Pandemics.

Landmark Deal Ensures Swift Vaccine Production to Bolster Pandemic Preparedness.

In a significant stride toward bolstering its pandemic preparedness, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has sealed a groundbreaking agreement with healthcare company CSL Seqirus. This advance purchase agreement (APA) paves the way for the production of over 100 million influenza pandemic vaccines within the UK, to be manufactured at CSL Seqirus’ Liverpool plant.

The ability to swiftly develop and produce vaccines in response to a novel flu strain is a pivotal aspect of the agreement. This initiative ensures that the UK remains well-equipped to address the potential challenges of future flu pandemics, particularly when global demand for vaccines could potentially outstrip supply.

Pandemic influenza is distinct from seasonal flu, posing a new and unpredictable threat that individuals are not expected to have existing immunity against. The timing and duration of flu pandemics can be highly erratic. Throughout the past century, the world has witnessed four influenza pandemics, striking in 1918, 1957, 1968, and 2009. The 1918 pandemic, in particular, resulted in an astonishing 50 million deaths worldwide, underscoring the persistent gravity of the flu as a global health concern, as acknowledged by the World Health Organization.

Dame Professor Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of UKHSA, hailed this agreement as a significant stride forward in pandemic preparedness against future influenza outbreaks. She emphasized the critical role of effective vaccines in safeguarding lives and mitigating disruptions to daily routines and livelihoods.

As the UK takes proactive steps to secure its defenses against future influenza pandemics, this collaboration between UKHSA and CSL Seqirus sets an encouraging precedent for global pandemic preparedness efforts. The agreement not only underscores the importance of swift vaccine production but also serves as a testament to the commitment of healthcare stakeholders to safeguard public health in the face of emerging threats.

Resources:

1.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-66923688

2.https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukhsa-announces-new-uk-based-vaccine-deal

3.https://guernseypress.com/news/uk-news/2023/09/26/deal-struck-to-produce-vaccines-in-uk-for-any-future-flu-pandemic/

4.https://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/national/23813484.deal-struck-produce-vaccines-uk-future-flu-pandemic/

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