FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2007
Contact: HHS Press Office
HHS Purchases Additional Anthrax Vaccine For Stockpile
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today the purchase of 18.75 million doses of BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed, AVA) from Emergent Biodefense Operations of Lansing, Mich., at a total of $448 million.
“One of our top biodefense priorities is medical countermeasures against anthrax,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response RADM Craig Vanderwagen, M.D., USPHS. “Together with the already substantial supply of antibiotics, our nation's first line of defense against an anthrax attack, this additional AVA anthrax vaccine will further broaden the stockpile's medical countermeasures.”
In addition to increasing near-term preparedness against the public health threat of anthrax, the contract also requires pursuit of two important improvements to the currently licensed vaccine:
- Approval for use as post-exposure prophylaxis, and
- Continued improvements to the vaccine’s shelf-life.
The requirement for licensure for use as post-exposure prophylaxis is a critical component of the contract, as this vaccine is primarily stockpiled for use following an anthrax attack. Continued studies for approval of extended shelf-life will improve the utility of this vaccine for the Strategic National Stockpile.
Today’s acquisition, in addition to the current stockpile of anthrax vaccine, will allow HHS to maintain a stockpile of at least 10 million doses of anthrax vaccine through 2011. In addition, HHS has two current contracts for the acquisition of anthrax antitoxins, to treat individuals with advanced anthrax disease.
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.
Last revised: May 7, 2011