HHS To Expand Domestic Vaccine Manufacturing Capacity For Potential Influenza Pandemic

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Influenza Pandemic

HHS announced the award of two contracts to expand the domestic influenza vaccine manufacturing capacity that could be used in the event of a potential influenza pandemic.

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The department has awarded two cost-reimbursable contracts totaling $132.5 million to sanofi pasteur and MedImmune over five years to retrofit existing domestic vaccine manufacturing facilities on a cost-sharing basis and to provide warm-base operations for manufacturing pandemic influenza vaccines. In warm-base operations, the contractor does not shut down the facility.

"We must prepare for a flu pandemic, although it may not be possible to be certain when the next one will come or how severe it will be," Secretary Leavitt said. "These contracts are important advances in the path of preparation because they help the nation build its capacity to respond."

The five-year contracts were awarded to sanofi pasteur, a manufacturer of a U.S.-licensed egg-based inactivated influenza vaccine product, for $77.4 million and to MedImmune, a manufacturer of a U.S.-licensed egg-based live, attenuated vaccine product, for $55.1 million. The contracts provide funding for renovation of manufacturing facilities and manufacturing warm-base operations for two years with options for an additional three years of warm-base operation.

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