HHS Buys Additional AVA Anthrax Vaccine  
5/5/2006 1:45:02 PM

WASHINGTON, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today the $120 million purchase of 5 million additional doses of Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA), a licensed anthrax vaccine, from the BioPort Corporation of Lansing, Mich. Today's action modifies an existing HHS contract with BioPort that was awarded in May 2005.

This supply of AVA anthrax vaccine is in addition to the 5 million doses of AVA anthrax vaccine purchased last year from BioPort. It will be placed in the nation's Strategic National Stockpile where it will be available for use in the event of a bioterror anthrax incident. Together with an already substantial supply of antibiotics, which is the nation's first line of defense against an anthrax attack, the additional AVA vaccine will further diversify the stockpile's medical countermeasures.

"We are committed to protecting the nation from the consequences of an anthrax attack," said HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness Stewart Simonson. "The additional BioPort vaccine will further strengthen and expand the Strategic National Stockpile's medical countermeasures for anthrax."

Today's purchase agreement is funded under Project BioShield, a program intended to accelerate the development, purchase and availability of medical countermeasures for biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear threats. President Bush introduced Project BioShield in his 2003 State of the Union address. Congress passed the Project BioShield Act of 2004 and the President signed it into law on July 21, 2004.

HHS' Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, which oversees the research and procurement efforts under the Project BioShield program through its Office of Research and Development Coordination, will continue to manage the AVA anthrax vaccine contract.

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CONTACT: HHS Press Office, +1-202-690-6343