HC Deb 26 November 2001 vol 375 c715W
Adam Price

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to inform the medical profession of the Government's anti-bioterrorism strategy. [9857]

Ms Blears

As part of on-going contingency planning, arrangements are in place to mitigate the effects of a bioterrorist act and to ensure response and recovery in conjunction with other Government Departments, the national health service and key public health agencies. Further guidance was issued in October to regional directors of public health and health authorities to ensure the NHS is ready to address bioterrorist threats, including anthrax, smallpox, botulism, plague or other unknown biological or chemical agents. At the same time, guidance for medical staff was made available on the Public Health Laboratory Service website.

Dr. Julian Lewis

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the role of vaccination in countering terrorist biological threats. [13828]

Jacqui Smith

The Department's on-going planning activity includes a review of the impact of terrorist biological threats and the countermeasures necessary, including vaccination where appropriate. We are working closely with the Ministry of Defence to address the issues of possible biological threats. We are in discussions with the United States of America, the European Union and other Governments to share information on planning and response, including vaccine supplies. There is a strategic reserve of vaccination, which could be rapidly deployed.

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