U.S. orders $690M in swine-flu vaccine

Frank Vinluan

San Francisco Business Times
July 14, 2009

The federal government is committing more than $800 million to buy more of the two key ingredients to make the H1N1 swine flu vaccine, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The money will be used to place additional orders on existing contracts with vaccine manufacturers including GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis. The former Chiron Corp. facility in Emeryville is now owned by Novartis, which makes vaccines there.

The government is placing orders for antigen and adjuvant. Antigen is the active ingredient in a vaccine that triggers the immune system to develop antibodies to fight the H1N1 virus. Adjuvant is added to boost the immune system and reduce the amount of antigen needed for the vaccine. The vaccine ingredients will become a part of the pandemic stockpile, for use if a vaccination campaign is necessary.

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