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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence looked at hearing aid technology two years ago. Its July 2000 report found that there was insufficient evidence, at that time, to draw conclusions about the benefit of digital over analogue devices. That advice is due to be reviewed in 2002, once the results of the Modernising Hearing Aid Services Project is known.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The choice of smallpox vaccine strain took into account expert advice under the auspices of a specially convened sub-group of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The advice of the JCVI sub-group was that there was no difference between the two strains on scientific grounds. Vaccines based on both strains were considered to have been effective in the past. However the JCVI sub-group concluded that there was a greater body of evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of the Lister strain rather than for the New York City Board of Health strain and that the smallpox vaccine has been challenged in the field more often by the more severe form of smallpox [variola major] with the strain chosen by the United Kingdom Government. The JCVI sub-group also recommended that using a different strain of vaccine from that used in the United States offered the greatest safeguard if difficulties arose with the production of either strain ensuring that the alternative strain could act as a fall-back.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Bavarian Nordic was the only company able to supply vaccines that met the Government's requirements. It was known that its chosen United Kingdom partners, PowderJect, would act as its distributors. At Bavarian Nordic's request, the contract of supply has been entered into with PowderJect.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Detailed confidential discussions were held with five major pharmaceutical companies which were known to have vaccine manufacturing capability either in the United Kingdom or in Europe. Our requirements for the vaccine strain, timing and delivery were made clear to each of the companies, which were then given time to submit their responses.
Only one company, Bavarian Nordic, met these requirements. Its chosen UK partners, PowderJect, will act as its distributors in the UK. At Bavarian Nordic's request, the contract of supply has been entered into with PowderJect.
The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): We intend to make an announcement on Culture Online very soon and will give details of the delivery mechanism at that time.
Baroness Blackstone: SPC.org is an Internet service provider. As such it is equivalent to, for example, Freeserve or Demon. Like any other service provider, it cannot assume responsibility for the material or content routed through its server by subscribers.
The Government accept the assurances provided by London Arts that its project grant to SPC.org is specifically directed at supporting the creative and technical needs of artists is and has not been used to support the "ourMayday" website to which the noble Lord refers.
At 8 November 2001, 6,600 income-based jobseeker's allowance recipients were subject to a sanction. This represents 0.014 per cent of the adult population and 0.011 per cent of the total population of Great Britain, based on the Office for National Statistics population estimates for mid-2000.
Between 15 October 2001 and 15 March 2002, community sentence sanctions were applied in 39 cases, and between 30 April 2001 and 29 March 2002, 1,531 lone parents were sanctioned for failing to attend a compulsory personal adviser interview without good cause. These are cumulative figures and a statistically valid comparison with the estimated population at a given point in time cannot therefore be made. bern
The Minister of State, Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): In England, a standard for the inspection of road tunnels, BD 53, was published by the Highways Agency in 1995. This standard describes the procedures to be carried out for the inspection and reported condition of road tunnels on motorways and trunk roads. Standard BD 53 includes the following mandatory schedule of inspections:
Principal Inspections: every six years (but exceptionally up to 10 years) for the tunnel structure and every three years (but exceptionally up to five years) for the mechanical and electrical functions.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Two independent external inspections have taken place on each tunnel in the last three years. For both tunnels, the first of these inspections took place in February 2000 and the second took place in February 2002. The inspections were carried out by a consortium of European motoring organisations.
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