§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the annual cost of(a) hospital-prescribed anthrax vaccine and (b) GP-prescribed anthrax vaccines in the years 1990 to 1993; to what extent such vaccine was obtained (i) commercially and (ii) directly from government sources of supply; if these vaccines were suitable for use against penicillin resistant anthrax strains; and if he will place in the Library guidance on the use of such vaccines.
§ Mr. Sackville
Anthrax vaccine, whether prescribed in hospital or by a general practitioner, is obtained front a common Government source and is not commercially available in the United Kingdom. The annual costs of supply were as follows: 1990, £34,000; 1991–92, £52,000; and 1993, £58,000. The breakdown of this cost between hospital and GP-prescribed vaccine is not readily available.
Anthrax vaccine creates protective immunity to the toxin produced by the anthrax bacillus. The vaccine is, therefore, effective against all strains of anthrax, irrespective of their antibiotic sensitivity.
Guidance on the use of anthrax vaccine is contained in the memorandum "Immunisation against infectious disease", copies of which are available in the Library.