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Funding crisis scuppers GP training plans

Chiron has reassured GPs it will be able to fulfil UK flu vaccine orders after quality control problems in a vaccine plant in Germany raised fears of a repeat of last winter's supply fiasco.

Production of the vaccine in Germany was halted this week because of 'sterility prob- lems' at the plant. Only a third of the 12 million doses of Begrivac destined for the UK and Germany will now be delivered.

The new supply concerns echo the turmoil caused by the MHRA's decision last year to halt production in Chiron's Liverpool plant which delayed the start of the flu campaign and left many GPs having to cancel clinics and fighting to catch up.

A spokesperson for Chiron said they were working to 'mitigate' the impact of shortages of Begrivac, which is supplied in the UK through Wyeth, by reallocating other vaccines and upping production in other plants.

'We don't think there will be any major supply shortage in the UK. We're reallocating some of our other vaccines,' he said.

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