The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has signed an advance purchase agreement with healthcare company CSL Seqirus for influenza pandemic vaccines.

CSL will be prepared to produce 100 million vaccines if and when required in the event of a future influenza pandemic.

The company will produce these vaccines in the UK.

The vaccines will undergo testing, licensing and approval to fight the specific pandemic flu strain detected.

CSL will use its existing manufacturing facility in Liverpool to produce these vaccines if the World Health Organization (WHO) declares a pandemic.

UKHSA chief executive Dame Jenny Harries stated: “We have seen from past pandemic events, including Covid-19, that access to effective vaccines is vital to help save lives and minimise disruption to our lives and livelihoods.

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“This agreement represents a major step forward in our preparedness against future influenza pandemics.

“Manufacturing these potentially life-saving vaccines inside the UK gives us speedier and more secure access, enabling us to roll them out to those who need them more quickly.”

In the past 100 years, four influenza pandemics have occurred: in 1918, 1957, 1968 and 2009. The 1918 pandemic caused more than 50 million deaths around the globe.