(2) how many doses of influenza vaccination are available in 2007 for (a) strategic health authorities, (b) primary care trusts and (c) doctors surgeries to purchase this winter; and if he will make a statement.
The UK Vaccine Industry Group has agreed to make over 15 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine available this winter for the United Kingdom. So far, over 4.4 million doses have been delivered. The information is not available by strategic health authority or primary care trust.
We announced our seasonal influenza campaign on 28 September, incorporating a number of strategies aimed at encouraging people aged 65 years and over to receive their flu immunisation. The campaign incorporates:
national TV advertising;
advertising in national and regional newspapers and magazines, including ethnic media;
advertising on pharmacy bags;
work with voluntary organisations and commercial stakeholders such as the Alzheimer's society, AFTAID, Arthritic Association, British Heart Foundation, Lloyds Pharmacy, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Superdrug and Morrison's pharmacists.
The Chief Medical Officer also wrote to all general practitioners with details of this year's flu vaccination programme in his letter of 30 March 2007. This provides surgeries with a number of months to plan their vaccination programme.
The pandemic vaccination strategy will be determined by an assessment of the strength of the virus, and its impact on the population. As this assessment can only take place once the virus has emerged, specific advice on the vaccination of any part of the population, including health care workers, can only be issued at that point.
No central guidance has been issued to employers wishing to stockpile clinical countermeasures. Employers who are considering this as part of their business continuity planning should do so in conjunction with their own occupational health advisers. The National Framework for responding to an influenza pandemic includes information in relation to stockpiling and use of clinical countermeasures. Work is also progressing on testing a clinical algorithm/protocol as part of the process for providing access to antivirals.