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Armed Forces: Influenza

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to paragraph four of the Defence Medical Services Department’s policy letter of 20 January 2006 entitled “The use of influenza vaccines and anti-virals in the event of an influenza pandemic” , reference DMSD/13/1/4 if he will reassess the assumption on the proportion of the armed forces who may be affected during the course of a pandemic and if he will make a statement. (196546)

MOD pandemic influenza planning assumptions on overall clinical attack rates are based on modelling provided by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), which underpin the National Planning Framework. In 2006 this accorded with the national plan that 25 to 33 per cent. of the armed forces overall may be affected during the course of a pandemic. However, in line with the revised National Planning Framework issued in 2007, which raised the upper potential impact to 50 per cent., our planning is being adjusted to reflect this higher potential clinical attack rate.