Published: 28/07/2005, Volume II5, No. 5966 Page 12

The Department of Health plans to buy 2 million doses of H5N1 flu vaccine - with NHS workers first in line to receive the jab in the event of a UK flu pandemic. Health secretary Patricia Hewitt said the purchase was an addition to the influenza pandemic contingency plan launched in March.

The stockpile would be a 'first line of defence' for priority groups, she said.