MP demands use of H5N1 vaccine

THE Government should make a specific anti-avian flu treatment available to poultry workers, North Cambridgeshire s MP said this week. Shailesh Vara, whose constituency includes few poultry farms but many smallholders who keep hens, geese and ducks in the

THE Government should make a specific anti-avian flu treatment available to poultry workers, North Cambridgeshire's MP said this week.

Shailesh Vara, whose constituency includes few poultry farms but many smallholders who keep hens, geese and ducks in the open, challenged Environment Secretary David Miliband on Monday to explain why workers at the infected turkey farm in Suffolk had been offered only the human influenza antidote Tamiflu.

"The Government spent millions of pounds on 3.3 million doses of the H5N1 vaccine but has not made these available to the people involved with the outbreak. Why have they only been offered human influenza vaccine?

"This is a very serious matter for which we need some urgent answers. What is the point of buying a vaccine if it is then not used."


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He said Mr Miliband had failed to answer the question adequately, claiming poultry workers' best protection was provided by their clothing, and that the Government had been acting on medical advice.

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