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£239m spent on swine flu vaccine

14 February 2011

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The government has been forced to release figures which show that £239m was spent on 90 million doses of the swine flu vaccine up to the end of April 2010.

The Department of Health disclosed the data following orders from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which said the publication of the figures was in the public interest.

Previous attempts to bring the information into the public domain had been rebuffed after the government failed to comply with a freedom of information (FOI) request.

Pharmacy giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) received the money for its Pandemrix jab and Baxter was paid for its Celvapan vaccine. The majority of the vaccine was provided by GSK.

It was revealed in April last year that the government had agreed a deal with GSK to cancel a portion of its order for the jab – saving it a third of the original value of the orders with the firm. But there were a large number of doses left over despite the move.

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A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “The Department has released this information in order to comply with the (ICO) decision notice. We have gone further than the original request by giving the full information on spend in the interests of transparency and in view of the public interest in this issue.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011

Department of Health

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