EU to sign contract securing 40 million bird flu vaccines for 15 countries

by | Jun 10, 2024

The European Union will sign a contract on Tuesday to secure over 40 million doses of a preventative avian flu vaccine for 15 countries, with the initial shipments set to go to Finland, EU officials announced on Monday.

 

This agreement includes up to 665,000 doses from the vaccine manufacturer CSL Seqirus, with an option to acquire an additional 40 million doses over the next four years. The vaccines will be procured jointly by the Commission's emergency health unit, HERA, and 15 countries within the EU and the European Economic Area.

These doses are specifically targeted at those most at risk of exposure to the virus, such as poultry farm workers and veterinarians. Similar preventative measures are being undertaken by the United States, Canada, and Britain.

The H5N1 virus has spread across most U.S. states, primarily affecting poultry and, in recent months, over 80 dairy farms. While there have been no confirmed human-to-human transmissions, three individuals in the U.S. were infected after contact with infected cattle since April 1. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), there are no active cases in humans or cattle within the EU as of early June.

The ECDC's weekly report for June 1-7 stated, “Transmission to humans remains a rare event, and no sustained transmission between humans has been observed so far. The risk of zoonotic influenza transmission to the general public in EU/EEA countries is considered to be low.”

In addition to this new agreement, the Commission, through HERA, has already secured 111 million doses of pandemic influenza vaccines from GSK and Seqirus, which can be adapted to any prevailing flu strain.

 

Reuters

 

 

 

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