GSK welcomes agreement with the Government of Canada for the provision of pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines

  • The 2022-2026 contract continues a 20 year-long relationship with the Government of Canada for pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines
  • Up to 80 million doses of pandemic influenza vaccine to be supplied to the Government of Canada in the event of influenza pandemics
  • A total of 16 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine over the duration of the contract, with an option for the Government of Canada to request additional doses as needed

Sainte-Foy, QC – GSK today announced an agreement with the Government of Canada for pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines to help protect Canadian adults and children. The four-year agreement, spanning through March 2026, includes the supply of as many as 80 million doses of Arepanrix (adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine) in the event of an influenza pandemic(s) and a minimum of 4 million doses per year of Flulaval Tetra (seasonal influenza vaccine). Both vaccines will be supplied by GSK’s Sainte-Foy, Quebec facility. This agreement follows earlier agreements between the Government of Canada and GSK to supply both pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines dating back to 2001.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, mentions: “An influenza pandemic can be caused by a new influenza strain against which there is little or no pre-existing immunity in the population. As these pandemics are unpredictable, and have at times caused severe disease, even death, in the population, it is of the utmost importance to the Government of Canada to be prepared to protect Canadians. With today’s announcement, we are increasing pandemic preparedness, and supporting quality jobs as these vaccines will be produced at GSK’s Sainte-Foy, Quebec, facility.”

Roger Connor, President of GSK Vaccines, said: “We are proud to continue to work with the Government of Canada to supply our vaccines, supporting Canada’s pandemic preparedness and fight against seasonal influenza. COVID-19 has shown the world the importance of immunization and pandemic preparedness. This agreement reserves future production and delivery of pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines allowing for a rapid response to help protect Canadians.”

GSK’s pandemic influenza vaccine, Arepanrix, is composed of a monovalent, inactivated, strain of the influenza virus antigen and GSK’s pandemic adjuvant system. In clinical studies, the adjuvanted formulation stimulated the required immune response while using a smaller amount of antigen as compared to a formulation without adjuvant. This could translate to a greater number of doses available at the time of a pandemic. H1N1 commonly known as "Swine Flu" is an example and the latest influenza pandemic in Canada.

GSK’s seasonal influenza vaccine, Flulaval Tetra, is a quadrivalent vaccine (split virion, inactivated) indicated for active immunization of adults and children from 6 months of age for the prevention of influenza disease caused by influenza virus types A and B contained in the vaccine.

“Today’s announcement continues the longstanding relationship between the Government of Canada and GSK to provide a domestic supply of influenza vaccines,” says Peter Fonyodi, Vaccines Business Unit Head, GSK Canada. “I’m particularly proud that these vaccines will come from our 230,000 square foot Sainte-Foy, Quebec production facility.”

Influenza is an acute, highly contagious, respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses, mainly spread through respiratory droplets. The illness is accompanied by fever and variable degrees of other systemic symptoms, ranging from mild fatigue to respiratory failure and death. Yearly outbreaks of influenza affect all age groups, but the greatest risk of severe disease or complications when infected are in adults aged 65 years and older, children under 59 months, individuals with immunosuppressive conditions (e.g., HIV/AIDS, receiving chemotherapy or steroids, or malignancy) and pregnant individuals.

GSK is a worldwide leader in biopharmaceutical product development, manufacturing, and supply, with a rich legacy in vaccines, pandemic preparedness and response. We are committed to helping people and authorities around the world to be better prepared for future pandemics, including a potential pandemic influenza outbreak.

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