Troops urged to sign anthrax waiver
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 24/01/2003)

A number of servicemen and women from the Army and the RAF who are going to the Gulf have turned down the possibility of anthrax inoculations after being told they must sign waivers.

In a letter to The Telegraph today, the wife of a member of the RAF says her husband was told that, if he had any inoculations, including the anthrax vaccine, he must sign a form promising not to sue the Ministry of Defence if he fell ill as a result.

He and his colleagues had been told before Christmas that they were likely to go to the Gulf, she said. "He was offered various inoculations including one for anthrax. He was told that, if he wanted to have these jabs, he had to sign a disclaimer saying he couldn't claim any compensation.

"He was furious and we spent a long evening discussing the pros and cons. He decided that he wouldn't have the jabs."

The National Gulf Veterans' and Families' Association said earlier this week it had received a call from a female member of 16 Air Assault Brigade who had been asked to sign a waiver.

The MoD said it was "categorically not our policy to make anyone receiving the inoculations sign a waiver".