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Fire Services: Vaccination

Volume 489: debated on Thursday 19 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 28 January 2009, Official Report, column 636W, on fire services: vaccination, whether he plans to review the practice of not distributing antiviral drugs to firefighters in the event of an influenza pandemic. (263500)

In the event of a pandemic, our policy is to provide treatment to all who need it, irrespective of the profession to which they belong. We are currently increasing our antiviral stockpile to ensure that there will be enough to treat up to 50 per cent. of the population in a pandemic, the reasonable worst case scenario of the number of people likely to exhibit symptoms of pandemic influenza. This stockpile is due to be in place by April 2009.