SINGAPORE - Singapore has bought one million doses of the Influenza A (H1N1) vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), expected for delivery by the end of this year, the Ministry of Health said on Thursday.
The purchase would cover 1 million people of Singapore's 4.8 million population as the government's studies show one dose per one person was sufficient, ministry spokesman Ng Swee Kang said.
'This is part of our phased and diversified approach in securing a sufficient quantity of the vaccine for our population,' the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
It did not give the value of the deal.
Large scale vaccination, on a voluntary basis, would start once the government was satisfied with the safety and efficacy reviews of this vaccine, currently being undertaken internationally, the ministry said.
It also said the GSK contract should meet immediate needs and could secure further supplies from Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Australia Pte Ltd.
China and Australia are among the countries that have already carried out H1N1 vaccinations, the spokesman said.
The World Health Organization is trying to reassure a global audience the vaccine - made by 25 firms with different formulas, is safe as it is made with the same technology as the seasonal flu vaccine given to hundreds of millions of people every year.
There is also growing evidence that just one shot is needed to protect most people against the virus, experts say.
But while the success of single dosing has effectively halved the potential global H1N1 vaccine market, the fact is there was never going to be anywhere near enough vaccine to go around at this stage in the pandemic.