Following declaration of the pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in June 2009, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been working closely with governments to respond to their changing needs as understanding of the H1N1 pandemic has increased. The company is currently in ongoing discussions with a number of governments regarding their specific pandemic planning needs, including governments who are changing their planned immunisation programmes.
GSK confirmed that it has reached an agreement with the German Ministry of Health (MoH) to amend its existing contract to receive approximately 70% of the ordered vaccine, equivalent to 34 million doses.
At the start of the pandemic and based on previous experience, immunisation programmes were expected to consist of two doses of vaccine. However, data from subsequent clinical trials demonstrating a strong immune response from one dose of the vaccine, have resulted in some public health authorities adapting their recommendations for immunisation. The clinical trial programme for H1N1 vaccines is ongoing and data continues to be made available.
Jean Stephenne, President of GSK Biologicals said, "Pandemics by their nature are unpredictable and we recognise that governments' needs are changing. We are committed to finding solutions for governments changing their immunisation programmes and to fulfilling recent new orders."
As the WHO has made clear, the circulation of the H1N1 influenza virus remains active and geographically widespread, with more than 200 countries and overseas territories or communities worldwide with laboratory confirmed cases. To protect people in developing countries, GSK is donating 60 million doses of its vaccine to the WHO.
Pandemics can be devastating for public health. Since 1997, GSK has been conducting research and development into vaccines to enable governments to protect their citizens in the event of an outbreak. The company has invested almost £2bn in developing technologies to respond to an influenza pandemic and increase capacity at its vaccine and antiviral manufacturing sites.
Information regarding development of GSK's vaccine is available at: www.gsk.com/media/pandemic-flu.htmGlaxoSmithKline - one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.