Novartis says on track to deliver US vaccine order

Oct 29, 2009

(AP) -- Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG said Thursday it is on track to meet its U.S. government order for swine flu vaccine, seeking to calm fears in recent weeks that shipments and vaccination programs may be delayed.

The Basel-based company said it already has delivered more than 7.5 million doses of vaccine for the A(H1N1) flu that the World Health Organization vaccines declared a in June.

Novartis said it expects to send 25-30 million doses to the United States by the end of November.

"If you look at the U.S. market, there's been a lot of confusion around about how much was to be delivered by when," said spokesman Eric Althoff. "In fact, we're exactly where we told the government we would be."

U.S. authorities said earlier this month they had received only about 23 million of the predicted 45 million vaccine doses from Novartis and other vaccine makers by mid-October. The delay has caused many U.S. states to postpone mass vaccinations, and worried patients have bombarded doctors with calls asking when a shot would be available.

"It's made a lot of headlines in the U.S.," said Althoff. "Every contract takes into account that you're making a commitment with many unknown variants, and one of the variants was the yield, which then delays the amount of available at one given time."

In fact, the amount of seed virus Novartis was able to produce was initially far below expectations, though the yield has since been increased, said Althoff.

"The (U.S.) government has always been updated on this progress," he said.

shares were down 0.9 percent at 52.85 Swiss francs ($51.53) on the Zurich exchange Thursday.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: NIH begins early human clinical trial of VSV Ebola vaccine

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Novartis starts testing swine flu vaccine

Aug 05, 2009

(AP) -- Swiss drugmaker Novartis has begun injecting its swine flu vaccine into people in the company's first human tests, a spokesman said Wednesday. The vaccine is being tested in a yearlong trial of 6,000 ...

Novartis denies problems with swine flu vaccine

Oct 26, 2009

Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis on Monday denied that it faced hurdles in gaining regulatory approval in Switzerland for one of its swine flu vaccines because of possible bacterial contamination.

Glaxo offers WHO 50 million pandemic vaccines

May 19, 2009

(AP) -- Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline said it has offered to donate 50 million doses of a pandemic vaccine to the World Health Organization in the event of a global flu outbreak, according to a company spokesman.

Sanofi to deliver swine flu vaccine in October

Sep 21, 2009

(AP) -- Sanofi-Aventis SA will begin delivering the first doses of its new swine flu vaccine in the United States by mid-October, the head of France's largest pharmaceutical company said Monday.

FDA approves new swine flu vaccine

Sep 15, 2009

(AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration approved the new swine flu vaccine Tuesday, a long-anticipated step as the government works to get vaccinations under way next month. Health and Human Services Secretary ...

Recommended for you

Seaweed menace may yield new medicines

7 hours ago

An invasive seaweed clogging up British coasts could be a blessing in disguise. University of Greenwich scientists have won a cash award to turn it into valuable compounds which can lead to new, life-saving drugs.

Supercomputers link proteins to drug side effects

Oct 20, 2014

New medications created by pharmaceutical companies have helped millions of Americans alleviate pain and suffering from their medical conditions. However, the drug creation process often misses many side ...

User comments : 0