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The size, quantity and content of the stockpile is guided primarily by the policy objective of using antiviral medicines effectively in order to
prevent hospitalization and deaths arising from pandemic influenza, and supporting our stay at home policy. To achieve this we are planning to increase our antiviral stockpile from 25 per cent. to 50 per cent. This should be enough to ensure treatment for all those that become symptomatic, including in a worst case scenario where the maximum predicted attack rate is reached.
Safety and patient acceptability is key. All Neuraminidase inhibitors are generally well tolerated by patients but the side effects from amantadine make it less suitable for stockpiling. The form in which the medicine comes is also important; while Oseltamivir is a capsule, Zanamivir has to be administered using an inhalator. The possible development of antiviral resistance also needs to be taken into account. Resistance is known to develop quickly to amantadine, making it unsuitable for stockpiling. We are currently considering stockpiling a second Neuraminidase inhibitor.
In principle, antiviral medicine treatment will be available for all symptomatic patients from the onset of a pandemic. A move to prioritisation of treatment would only be made if information became available to suggest that demand for antiviral treatment would outstrip supply.
Reduce serious illness and deaths; and
Reduce transmission and spread.
As for the use of our existing stock of pre-pandemic vaccine, the Government have a stockpile of 3.3 million doses of H5N1 pre-pandemic vaccine for health care workers. However, the Human Resources guidance for the national health service is still being consulted on. Final guidance detailing the eligibility of staff for A/H5N1 based upon clinical assessment of staff who may be at risk will not be available until after the responses received during the consultation are collated and analysed.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department has had discussions with internet service providers on contingency planning arrangements for a potential influenza pandemic. 
Dawn Primarolo: Internet service providers, like other businesses, are responsible for their own contingency planning. To assist with this, Cabinet Office has issued various pieces of advice to assist with business continuity planning, including: Guidance on Contingency Planning for a Possible Influenza Pandemic; Pandemic Influenza Checklists for Businesses and Introductory Advice to Staff on Planning for Pandemic Influenza.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of NHS staff who will not attend work due to fear of infection in an influenza pandemic, as referred to in paragraph 3.9 of
his Department's document Pandemic influenza: human resources guidance for the NHS, published on 21 November 2007. 
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his latest estimate is of the proportion of patients in each risk group who have received seasonal influenza immunisation for the 2007-08 winter. 
Dawn Primarolo: The collection of seasonal influenza uptake data for this winter ended on 31 January, and final uptake data for the 2007-08 seasonal influenza campaign are not expected to be available until around the end of February 2008.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the extent to which independent sector providers of health care form part of local NHS organisations' pandemic influenza contingency plans. 
Dawn Primarolo: National health service trusts have been asked to ensure that all local health and social care organisations, including the independent sector, are involved in planning for a pandemic, and that they develop an integrated response that uses their combined resources to best effect. NHS trusts will be demonstrating their involvement with local stakeholders, including the independent sector, through the audit on NHS preparedness that is currently taking place.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) adults and (b) children were admitted to accident and emergency departments in England as a result of dog attacks in each of the last five years, broken down by hospital trust. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The information is not available in the format requested. The following tables show the count of finished admission episodes (FAEs) where the external cause code is W54 (bitten or struck by dog) for the strategic health authority (SHA) of treatment, for adults and children admitted to hospital through accident and emergency, over the last five years. A direct comparison is not possible before and after 2006 when the SHAs were restructured, which is why there are two separate tables.
|SHA of treatment||Under 18||18 and over||Under 18||18 and over||Under 18||18 and over||Under 18||18 and over|
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