US Dept of Health and Human Services purchases over $400m worth of oil-based vaccine adjuvant

Posted on August 7th, 2009 Dan

According to a July 13 press release by HHS, over $400m will be spent to stockpile a toxic vaccine adjuvant containing squalene for use in mass vaccination against pandemic influenza.

Oil adjuvants were used use in Anthrax vaccine administered to US Military personnel during Gulf War 1 and have been linked to “gulf war syndrome” due to an autoimmune response that attacks the nervous system.

Squalene-like oils are found in neurons and, when injected with an antigen in the form of a vaccine, have been shown to illicit an auto-immune attack against the body’s own neurons.

HHS News Release

Monday, July 13, 2009
Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

HHS Purchases Additional H1N1 Vaccine Ingredients

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that the department will commit $884 million to purchase additional supplies of two key ingredients for potential H1N1 vaccine to further prepare the nation for a potential resurgence of the 2009 H1N1 virus.

“We recognize that preparedness is shared responsibility between federal, tribal, state, local governments, private organizations and individuals. We are doing our part to be as prepared as possible for the impact that this infectious disease could have on our country,” Secretary Sebelius said. “Vaccines may serve an important role in that preparedness. The action we are taking today will provide flexibility in a future immunization program, if a program is recommended.”

The funds will be used to place additional orders for bulk H1N1 antigen and adjuvant on existing contracts with Sanofi Pasteur, MedImmune, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis. The vaccine ingredients will become a part of the pandemic stockpile, for use if a vaccination campaign is necessary.

Antigen is the active ingredient in a vaccine that causes the human body’s immune system to develop antibodies that help fight an invading virus. Depending on the results of clinical studies, adjuvant could be added to a vaccine to boost the immune system’s response and potentially reduce the amount of antigen necessary for the body to recognize and fight a virus.

In May, Secretary Sebelius directed approximately $1 billion to be used for the development of a vaccine and for clinical studies to determine dose level and assess the safety and effectiveness of potential vaccines.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) in the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response established the existing contracts with these companies in 2004 as part of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza.

More information about today’s contract action is available at  For the latest on the 2009 Influenza A H1N1 virus, see To learn more about the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza visit  More about BARDA is available at


Bulk Vaccine


Bulk Virus Concentrate/FFF

Bulk Oil and Water Adjuvant

Sanofi Pasteur $61,425,000 0 0
GSK $0 0 $71,400,000
Novartis $346,334,450 0 $343,810,470
CSL $0 0 0
MedImmune $0 $61,008,000 0
TOTAL $407,759,450 $61,008,000 $415,210,470


Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at

Last revised: July 30, 2009

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