The Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has started the process of selling off the vaccine production facilities of its Nederlands Vaccine Institute (NVI) to the private sector. The sale results from the ministry’s 2010 decision to stop the production of vaccines through the public NVI body and integrate the institute’s other tasks into the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) from the beginning of this year. NVI activities that will be shifted to the RIVM include public vaccine research and development along with vaccine procurement, warehousing, and distribution.
The NVI production facilities in Bilthoven manufacture bioipharmaceuticals including viral and bacterial vaccines. The Dutch Ministry says contract manufacturing for third parties is within the scope of activities up for sale. Current production activities at the NVI comprise: inactivated polio vaccine as bulk or final product, BCG vaccines used in the post-surgical treatment of bladder cancer, and the combined diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccine and tetanus toxoid vaccine used for vaccinating children and adults.