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34m swine flu jabs left

7th April 2010

The NHS has been left with a stockpile of more than 34 million doses of the swine flu vaccine.

swine flu

The government had agreed contracts with two suppliers, GlaxoSmithKline and Baxters, for over 120 million doses.

As the number of swine flu cases has decreased since December, only 44 million will be purchased. Of this number, 6 million jabs have been given to key workers in the UK and 3.4 million are being sent to the World Health Organisation in Africa.

The remaining doses have been split so 10.6 million is held by GPs and 23.6 million have been stockpiled.

The Conservative Party said the government had squandered millions of pounds, but Labour MPs argued that the renegotiated deal represented value for money.

The total value of the stockpiled doses has been estimated at between £100-150 million.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham said: "I am pleased we have reached an agreement that is good value for the taxpayer and means that the department has retained a strategic stockpile to protect the UK population without incurring a cancellation fee."

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "This is a careless waste of precious NHS money. Labour failed to ensure there were proper break clauses in the contracts which means that British taxpayers have got an extremely bad deal."

 

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