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8 May 2008 : Column 1190W—continued

Vaccination: Thiomersal

Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what year the NHS ceased to use thiomersal in vaccine doses under the public vaccination programme; and in what year the last vaccine stocks containing thiomersal were (a) exhausted and (b) withdrawn. [204011]

Dawn Primarolo: The routine childhood vaccination programme has used only thiomersal-free vaccines from September/October 2004. The remaining centrally held stocks containing thiomersal were destroyed when their date expired. No vaccine was withdrawn.

Details of the changes, including the rational, are contained in the Chief Medical Officer’s letter, copies of which have been placed in the Library and are also available at:


John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the provision of wafarin monitoring services by private providers; and what assessment he has made of the provision of such services by a private provider in the Birmingham area. [202357]

Dawn Primarolo: Primary care trusts are responsible for commissioning services to meet the health needs of their local population, including anticoagulant medicine. The National Patient Safety Agency issued Patient Safety Alert 18 concerning Safer Practice with Anticoagulants in March 2007. The alert included a range of safer practice recommendations to make the use of anticoagulants safer. These included guidance for commissioners of anticoagulants services.

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