GlaxoSmithKline is cutting the amount of swine flu vaccine it will supply to Germany to 70% of the original order and has confirmed it is talking to a number of governments regarding similar deals.

The drugs giant has reached an agreement with the German Ministry of Health to amend its existing contract to receive 34 million doses rather than 50 million doses. The company noted that “at the start of the pandemic and based on previous experience”, immunisation programmes were expected to consist of two doses of H1N1 vaccine.

However, data from subsequent trials have demonstrating a strong immune response from just one dose, hence the rethink by governments. Jean Stephenne, president of GSK Biologicals said "pandemics by their nature are unpredictable and we recognise that governments’ needs are changing”. The firm is also involved in similar discussions with the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

He added that GSK is "committed to finding solutions for governments changing their immunisation programmes and to fulfilling recent new orders”. The company added that “as the World Health Organisation has made clear, the circulation of the H1N1 influenza virus remains active and geographically widespread”, with more than 200 countries reporting confirmed cases.

GSK, which is donating 60 million doses of its vaccine to the WHO for use in developing countries, also noted that it has invested almost £2 billion in developing technologies to respond to an influenza pandemic and increase capacity at its manufacturing sites.