Thursday, July 25, 2024

European Union orders HPAI vaccines intended for workers

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BRUSSELS — The European Union (EU) recently stated that it signed a framework contract to receive 665,000 doses for the influenza vaccine Seqirus.

The Commission’s Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) explained that vaccines were available to protect adults against H5 strains of the influenza A virus.

“While the threat of avian influenza to the general population remains low, we need to protect people at higher risk, such as poultry and farm workers or certain veterinarians,” said Stella Kyriakides, commissioner for health and food safety at the EU. “Today we announce an agreement on behalf of participating countries to secure access to over 40 million doses of avian influenza vaccine. We are ready to take further action should the situation evolve in the future.”

The vaccine is the only preventive zoonotic avian influenza vaccine currently authorized in the EU.

The first shipment will go to Finland, where a total of 15 EU and EEA member states will participate in the voluntary procurement of the vaccines.

Earlier in June, a third person was detected as with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) due to exposure to infected dairy cattle in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health officials still have not confirmed human transmission of the virus to another human.

US federal officials recently confirmed that CSL Seqirus will deliver approximately 4.8 million doses of pre-pandemic vaccine that is well-matched to the H5 of the currently circulating HPAI strain. The company added that this is the fourth time it has worked with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) on avian influenza preparedness.

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