Denmark's Largest Vaccine Maker Faces Factory Closure Pending Smallpox Vaccine Order From U.S.

“Bavarian Nordic A/S (BAVA), the largest vaccine maker in Denmark, will need to fire hundreds of workers and shut down a factory if it doesn’t receive an order for a smallpox vaccine from the U.S. government by January, the company’s chief executive officer said,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports. “Company officials said they don’t know why the Department of Health and Human Services hasn’t made the order, which they had expected by June,” the news service writes, noting, “The vaccine is meant for people with atopic dermatitis and compromised immune systems, who are at risk of severe adverse reactions to the regular smallpox vaccine.”

“Bavarian Nordic relies on the vaccine, called Imvamune, for 95 percent of its revenue, said Anders Hedegaard, CEO of the Kvistgaard, Denmark-based biotechnology firm,” Bloomberg writes, adding, “It was awarded a $500 million U.S. health contract for 20 million doses in 2007.” According to the news service, “Its product is funded through the federal Project BioShield program, created in 2004 to provide money for vaccines that would be used in the event of a bioterrorist attack.” “The funding expires in 2013 unless Congress acts,” the news service adds, noting Gretchen Michael, a department spokeswoman “said she wasn’t able to predict whether there would be an order” (Ivory, 8/22).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.