The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has entered into an advance purchase agreement (APA) with healthcare company CSL Seqirus for influenza vaccines production in case of a pandemic in future.

As per the agreement, CSL Seqirus will be on standby to produce more than 100 million registered influenza pandemic vaccines in the UK in a rapid timeframe if the influenza pandemic is ever announced.

According to UKHSA, the vaccines will be tested, licensed, approved and customised to tackle the specific pandemic flu strain identified at the time.

They will be produced at CSL Seqirus’ current manufacturing facility in Liverpool, UK, if the World Health Organization (WHO) declares a pandemic.

This new deal with the healthcare company was reached following more than ten years of collaboration with the government on influenza pandemic preparedness.

UKHSA chief executive Dame Jenny Harries said: “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.

“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, similar arrangements have been made by UKHSA and its predecessor organisations.

The latest vaccine deal is said to be the first time the manufacturing process will be wholly located in the UK, improving access security if worldwide demand ever exceeds supply.

CSL Seqirus global executive director Marc Lacey said: “CSL Seqirus is a global leader in pandemic influenza preparedness, and we’re pleased the UK government will continue to partner with us in preparing to provide protection against the potential of a flu pandemic.

“This agreement will help to ensure the UK maintains robust preparedness and rapid response capabilities for this potential future threat.”