Drug firm Baxter has received European approval for its swine-flu vaccine Celvapan, leaving it only awaiting authorisation by the EU commission before it can be made available.
The European Medicines Agency gave the drug a “positive opinion”, which was received by GlaxoSmithKline’s rival Pandemrix vaccine last month. The UK has contracts to buy the vaccine from both companies.
Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson (pictured) has said that the vaccination programme will start in October if possible, depending on manufacturers’ ability to deliver the supplies needed.
The stock will go through a process taking several days of inventory checking, packing and transporting, before being being distributed to acute trusts and PCTs on a rolling scheme.
Department of Health Director for Immunisation Professor David Salisbury said: “We cannot supply every GP in the country simultaneously with a box. There will have to be a rolling distribution. It will all be driven by the flow in of vaccine.”
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