Canada signs 10 year pandemic flu vaccine contract

As the current contract approached expiration, the Canadian federal government has announced the signing of a new 10 year pandemic flu vaccine contract with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline with a value of more than $425 million.

The contract will ensure that a secure supply of vaccine reaches Canadians in the event of an influenza pandemic at some point in the future, the Globe and Mail reports. It will also reduce the chance of delays in distribution and delivery reports The Globe and Mail.

The vaccines will be manufactured at GlaxoSmithKline’s Ste-Foy, Quebec, facility. The Canadian government also signed a three year contract to provide access to a back-up pandemic vaccine supply if necessary.

That contract is worth slightly more than $33 million and would provide an alternative source of vaccines for vulnerable populations like those suffering from chronic diseases and pregnant women, according to the Globe and Mail.

“We have worked with our provincial and territorial counterparts to provide governments with a broader range of vaccine products for seasonal flu and to deliver on the commitment to have a long-term pandemic vaccine contract in place before the current contract expires on March 31, 2011,” Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s health minister said in a statement Friday, according to the Globe and Mail. “Our new primary pandemic vaccine supply contract provides timely, cost-effective access to a secure domestic supply of vaccine for Canadians in the event of an influenza pandemic.”