Armed Forces: Vaccination

Defence written question – answered on 11th July 2012.

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Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what medical advice the Armed Forces has received from expert bodies on the simultaneous administration of multiple vaccinations, inoculations and biological and chemical pre-treatments (a) prior to Operation Granby and (b) most recently.

Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Simultaneous administration of multiple vaccinations, inoculations and biological and chemical pre-treatments prior to Operation Granby was given in accordance with the Department of Health's (DH) ‘Green Book’.

In 2006, the MOD announced that final scientific papers relating to its Vaccines Interactions Research Programme had been published. These looked at the possible adverse health effects of the combination of vaccines and tablets given to troops to protect them against the threat of biological and chemical warfare. The overwhelming evidence from the programme is that the combination of vaccines and tablets that were offered to UK forces at the time of the 1990-91 Gulf conflict would not have had adverse health effects. The scientific papers concerning the above research programme can be found on the following MOD web page:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/WhatWeDo/HealthandSafety/GulfVeteransIllnesses/VaccinesInteractionsResearchProgramme.htm

More recently, we have not approached any expert bodies for medical advice on the simultaneous administration of multiple vaccinations as vaccinations are administered in accordance with the extant version of the DH ‘Green Book’. This core document is continuously updated and is available on the DH website at:

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_079917

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