Finland to receive first EU procured bird flu shots

The EU’s health crisis authority will sign a contract with Seqirus next Tuesday to secure hundreds of thousands of doses of its H5N1 flu shot adapted to protect people against the latest deadly strain of bird flu — and first doses will head to Finland.
The Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) will sign the joint procurement contract with Seqirus on behalf of 15 member countries, a senior Commission official with knowledge of the matter told POLITICO.
The first batch of vaccines will be immediately shipped to Finland, the official said, where workers in mink farms are considered at risk of contracting the virus from contaminated animals.

The contract is currently for 640,000 doses, with the possibility to buy up to 40 million doses over four years.
HERA, which has been in talks with Seqirus for months, approached the company last year to ask it to update its zoonotic flu vaccine to the dominant circulating avian flu strain. But to do so, Seqirus asked for a minimum guarantee of sale, to make the transaction profitable — something HERA could guarantee through the joint procurement.
Seqirus’s adapted zoonotic influenza vaccine was given the backing of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in April.