The market for seasonal flu vaccines in the Asia-Pacific region will grow 8.9% each year on average to 2017, to reach a value of $2.09 billion by then compared to $1.15 billion in 2010, says a new report.

The regional market is being driven by increases in awareness, vaccination coverage and government support for immunisation against seasonal influenza, although working against these drivers are entry barriers for new entrants to the market including limited production capacity, high investment and stringent regulations, according to the report, which is produced by Companies and Markets.

The Philippines is the most attractive market in the region for season flu vaccine manufacturers, in terms of both value and growth rate. It is expected to show a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.4% over the period, increasing from a value of $62.5 million in 2010 to $359 million in 2017.

Other attractive seasonal flu vaccine markets in the Asia-Pacific region are Malaysia and Singapore, which are forecast to show CAGRs of 23.9% and 19.9%, respectively, to 2017. Australia's market is expected to grow from a value of $87.7 million in 2010 to $110.4 million by 2017, at a CAGR of 3.3%, while China and India's markets are projected to increase by annual averages of 15.6% and 16.5%, respectively.

The vaccinated populations of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region - Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan - are growing an average 6.5% a year and are expected to total 138.6 million in 2017 from 89.1 million in 2010, according to the report. Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Hong Kong have all developed national immunisation programmes for seasonal flu, and the vaccinated populations in the region are growing particularly fast growth in Malaysia, rising at a CAGR of 22.5% to 2017, the Philippines (22.8%) and India (14.8%). In India, coverage levels are growing due to both increased awareness and the anticipated availability of low-cost medicines in the future.

The major players in the sector are shifting their focus on developing nations such as India and China, where they are investing in new manufacturing facilities to produce cheaper vaccines. This trend will change the seasonal flu vaccine market and help manufacturers meet increasing demand, according to the study.