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International Situation (Contingency Planning)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:33 pm on 19th March 2003.

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Photo of Kenneth Macintosh Kenneth Macintosh Labour 2:33 pm, 19th March 2003

I thank the First Minister for his comments on the contingency preparations, particularly in the health service. As part of those preparations, I believe that the smallpox vaccine is being made available to key emergency service workers, including health staff. I would welcome the First Minister's assurance that the vaccine will be made available on a voluntary basis only.

Secondly, can the First Minister or the Minister for Health and Community Care give further guidance on the risk assessment that will have been carried out if health workers are assured that they may continue to work with vulnerable patients while the vaccine is live?