A further 96 million doses of swine-flu vaccine have been preordered by another nine governments, taking the total to 291 million now in the GlaxoSmithKline pipeline.
The company, one of several commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) to produce stocks, has now agreed contracts with 25 countries and hopes to have supplies available by September.
The UK government has reportedly ordered 132 million doses – two per person – from both Glaxo and another producer, Baxter, worth £155.4m over four years.
Glaxo began producing the vaccine last month at sites in Germany and Canada, with 20% of Canadian production earmarked for developing countries.
Although it is confident that first supplies will be ready from next month, it says it is unsure how quickly outstanding orders can be filled.
The company meanwhile intends to triple production of its prophylactic treatment Relenza to 190 million doses annually by the end of this year.
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