HC Deb 17 May 1976 vol 911 cc423-4W
Mr. Moonman

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) whether, in the event of an outbreak of swine influenza in the United Kingdom, he will advise the use of single-strain swine flu vaccine or double-strain vaccine; and which will give fewer side effects;

(2) what discussions have taken place within the past month with the United States Government officials on their current research into the use of vaccine to deal with the likely outbreak of swine "flu";

(3) whether he will advise that mass inoculations for swine influenza in the United Kingdom be given by syringe and needle or by jet gun;

(4) whether, in the event of an outbreak of swine "flu," priority inoculation will now be given to high risk populations, including senior citizens and persons with chronic upper respiratory ailments,

(5) what preparations are now being made for the wide use of vaccine in the event of an outbreak of swine "flu" in this country.

Dr. Owen

No discussions have taken place directly with United States Government officials, but officers of my Department have received detailed information about the outbreak of "swine influenza" from the United States Government and from the United States Department of the Army in particular. The method of administering the vaccine is a professional matter for doctors to decide. More generally I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. Member for Bedford (Mr. Skeet), the right hon. Member for Wanstead and Woodford (Mr. Jenkin) and my hon. Friend on 6th April —Vol. 909, c.147–9.]—and ask him to await the further statement which I have undertaken to make following the meeting of the Advisory Group on Influenza later this month.