Seqirus, a global leader in influenza prevention, announced today that it has started on-time shipping of its portfolio of FLUAD® (aTIV) and FLUCELVAX® TETRA▼(QIVc) vaccines to healthcare professionals across the UK.
Delivering Seqirus’ vaccines to customers at the agreed times, despite the manufacturing challenges faced by the delay in the World Health Organization (WHO) H3N2 strain announcement, means that GP practices and pharmacies will be well prepared to vaccinate the most vulnerable populations ahead of this year’s influenza season.
aTIV was the only flu vaccine recommended for reimbursement by the NHS for the 65+ age group during last year’s flu season1 and has been recommended again for this season.2 The on-time availability of aTIV is therefore likely to be reassuring for health professionals across the UK, given the prioritisation of elderly immunisation.
“The swift change over to aTIV for the entire 65+ population across the UK last season was a complex operation for all of us working on the front line of influenza prevention” said Helen Concilia, UK Country Head, Seqirus. “However, the hard work from GPs, practice nurses and practice managers was effort well placed as aTIV appears to have significantly reduced the risk of influenza and medical visits in older adults in 2018-19, as highlighted by recent Public Health England data.”
The aTIV vaccine is manufactured at Seqirus’ Liverpool facility, the largest vaccine manufacturing site in the UK, employing over 800 people.
QIVc is the first cell-based quadrivalent influenza vaccine available in the UK. It received European regulatory approval in December 2018 and is manufactured using cell-based candidate vaccine viruses (CVV) for all four of the influenza strains recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).3 This vaccine is currently recommended alongside egg-based quadrivalent flu vaccines (QIVe) for those 18 to 64 years in at-risk groups and alongside aTIV for those aged 65 years and older.2
Anjana Narain, Seqirus’ recently appointed Executive Vice-President, commented: “As a vaccine company dedicated to the prevention of influenza, Seqirus is proud to be delivering over 11.5 million vaccine doses to UK GP practices and pharmacies. For us it doesn’t stop there as we continue to invest in our service levels and new research to remain a reliable supplier of influenza vaccine to the NHS in future seasons.”
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Seqirus is part of CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. Seqirus was established on 31 July 2015 following CSL’s acquisition of the Novartis influenza vaccines business and its subsequent integration with bioCSL. As one of the largest influenza vaccine providers in the world, Seqirus is a major contributor to the prevention of influenza globally and a transcontinental partner in pandemic preparedness. Seqirus operates state-of-the-art production facilities in the U.S., the UK and Australia, and manufactures influenza vaccines using both egg-based and cell-based technologies. It has leading R&D capabilities, a broad portfolio of differentiated products and a commercial presence in more than 20 countries. For more information visit www.seqirus.com.
CSL (ASX:CSL) is a leading global biotechnology company with a dynamic portfolio of life-saving medicines, including those that treat haemophilia and immune deficiencies, as well as vaccines to prevent influenza. Since our start in 1916, we have been driven by our promise to save lives using the latest technologies. Today, CSL — including our two businesses, CSL Behring and Seqirus - provides life-saving products to more than 60 countries and employs more than 22,000 people. Our unique combination of commercial strength, R&D focus and operational excellence enables us to identify, develop and deliver innovations so our patients can live life to the fullest. For more information visit www.csl.com.
1 Public Health England. NHS England. The national flu immunisation programme 2018/19. Retrieved from: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/694779/Annual_national_flu_programme_2018-2019.pdf. Accessed August 2019.
2 Department for Health and Social Care, Public Health England, NHS England. Annual National Flu programme letter 2019 to 2020. https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/annual-national-flu-programme-2019-to-2020-1.pdf. Accessed August 2019
3 Cision PR Wire. Seqirus Announces Further Advances in Cell-Based Influenza Vaccine Technology. Retrieved from: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/seqirus-announces-further-advances-in-cell-based-influenza-vaccine-technology-300831979.html. Accessed August 2019.
5 The Oxford Vaccine Group Vaccine Knowledge project. General information on flu vaccines in the UK. Retrieved from: http://vk.ovg.ox.ac.uk/vk/inactivated-flu-vaccine. Accessed August 2019.