To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 25 March 2008 (WA 81), how many current members of the emergency services have been vaccinated for smallpox; how many of those have had adverse complications; and what is the status of the programme of vaccination which commenced in 2008.
A cohort of frontline health workers was vaccinated in 2005 to deal with any initial suspected or confirmed case of smallpox if they were to occur. The cohort comprised a total of 516 vaccinated personnel of whom 147 were doctors, 164 were nurses, 100 were ambulance staff, 32 were scientists and 73 held other related healthcare occupations. All were carefully screened and monitored and none had adverse complications that required vaccinia immunoglobulin. In order to maintain their protection against smallpox, a programme of revaccination commenced in 2008 and is ongoing. There is no proposal to increase the numbers of people in the cohort.