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Health written question – answered on 10th December 2001.

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Photo of Ian Taylor Ian Taylor Conservative, Esher and Walton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what strategy is in place to meet an epidemic of smallpox caused by terrorist action.

Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (Health)

The Department has contingency planning 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.

Guidance has been issued to senior managers in the NHS on procedures to be followed in the event of a release of a biological agent, including smallpox.

There are strategic stocks of vaccine which would be rapidly deployed for use as appropriate to the incident to contain any outbreak.

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