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Volume 464: debated on Thursday 11 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements he has put in place to ensure NHS ambulance trusts can decontaminate their ambulances in the event of an influenza pandemic. (156777)

Standard infection control procedures are in place that follow current Ambulance Service Association guidelines for decontaminating ambulances, with stringent cleaning procedures between patients, such as washing and wiping down areas and surfaces within the ambulance that have been in contact with the patient with detergent or alcohol spray. Single-use equipment and clinical waste would be disposed of in accordance with current procedures.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his Department's press release of 16 August 2007 entitled “Government announces advanced supply contracts for pandemic influenza vaccine”, how many doses of pandemic vaccine have been secured as part of the advanced supply contracts; and in which country the pandemic vaccines will be manufactured in the event of an influenza pandemic. (156781)

As announced by the Department on 16 August 2007, advanced supply contracts have been put in place with two companies, Baxter Healthcare and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The contracts allow the United Kingdom to purchase up to 120 million doses of pandemic specific vaccine should a pandemic occur. The exact number of doses will be determined by the strength of the virus and its impact on the population, which will only be known once the virus has emerged. Pandemic specific vaccines will be manufactured at Baxter Healthcare's facilities in Austria and the Czech Republic, and at GSK's site in Germany.