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Health: Smallpox Vaccine

Volume 700: debated on Tuesday 25 March 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answers by Lord Warner on 7 September 2004 (WA 137) and 28 November 2005 (WA 12–13), how many (a) doctors, (b) nurses, (c) ambulance staff, (d) scientists, (e) police and (f) others have been vaccinated for smallpox so as to enable them to deal with a terrorist attack; and how many of these have had complications leading to further treatment using the vaccine immunoglobulin. [HL2450]

The department arranged for smallpox vaccination of a cohort of frontline health workers who would deal with any initial suspected or confirmed case of smallpox if it were to occur. The target cohort was reached in 2005 and comprised a total of 516 vaccinated personnel of whom 147 were doctors, 164 were nurses, 100 were ambulance staff, 32 were scientists and 73 held other related healthcare occupations.

None of these had adverse complications that required vaccinia immunoglobulin.

A further programme of revaccination is due to commence in 2008.