CSL Seqirus has secured a joint procurement framework contract from the European Commission (EC) to provide 665,000 pre-pandemic vaccine doses of the up-to-date Zoonotic Influenza Vaccine Seqirus.

EC’s Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) selected CSL Seqirus to offer the vaccine doses to 15 European Union (EU) and EEA Member States as well as to the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (rescEU).

CSL Seqirus is the vaccine business of Australian biotech company CSL.

The four-year deal won by CSL Seqirus also includes an option for an additional 40 million doses over the life of the contract.

The vaccine, which is well-matched to the H5 of the currently circulating H5N1 strain, targets individuals at high risk of exposure to avian influenza from birds or animals.

Through the procurement of zoonotic vaccines, the Commission plans to establish a stockpile of vaccines that can support efforts in managing outbreaks and pre-pandemic response.

The vaccines are expected to mitigate the transmission and potential outbreaks of avian influenza in Europe.

CSL Seqirus global medical strategy head Raja Rajaram said: “While the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) assesses the risk of infection from avian influenza to be low for the general population, it considers people with activities that expose them to infected animals or a contaminated environment at low-medium risk.

“This agreement will help in Europe’s resolve to maintain robust preparedness and rapid response capabilities for this potential threat.”

The vaccines are being produced at CSL Seqirus’ European manufacturing facilities located in Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Liverpool in the UK.

These sites employ a scalable production method and are said to be among the largest in Europe dedicated to manufacturing seasonal influenza vaccines.

EC Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said: “While the threat of avian influenza to the general population remains low, we need to protect people at higher risk, such as poultry and farm workers or certain veterinarians.

“Today we announce an agreement on behalf of participating countries to secure access to over 40 million doses of avian influenza vaccine. We are ready to take further action should the situation evolve in the future.”

Last year in September, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) signed an advance purchase agreement (APA) with CSL Seqirus for influenza vaccine production.