Drugs company GlaxoSmithKline says it is making “rapid progress” on its swine flu vaccine.

Total doses ordered by governments worldwide so far total 291 million. The company aims to make the vaccine for the H1N1 swine flu virus available from September onwards with shipping expected in the second half of 2009 and early 2010.

Although Glaxo is confident the first vaccine will be available on schedule, it is unsure how quickly it can be produced to fulfil orders.

The drug maker is one of several pharma firms commissioned by the World Health Organisation to produce a vaccine for the pandemic virus and has now agreed contracts with 25 countries.

The UK government has ordered 132 million doses - two per person - from both Glaxo and another producer Baxter, worth £155.4m over four years.