Thousands of British troops are to be vaccinated against anthrax amid ‘fears of Russian chemical warfare’.
Britain’s Defence secretary Gavin Williamson said that all troops held at high readiness will be given the vaccination which has been linked to ‘Gulf war illness’, following the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal.
The Sun reports: It is part of a major armed forces investment announced by the Government — including £48million for a new Chemical Weapons Defence Centre.
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The “cutting edge” site will be based at Britain’s top secret military labs at Porton Down, Wilts.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson will say in Bristol today: “If we doubted the threat Russia poses to our citizens, we only have to look at the shocking example of their reckless attack in Salisbury,” Gavin Williamson will say in a speech later.
“We know the chemical threat doesn’t just come from Russia but from others.”
The defence supremo will add: “I made the decision to offer the anthrax vaccine to our high-readiness forces providing them with vital protection against a deadly danger.
“In the face of intensifying threats, we must prioritise investment in military capabilities.
“We cannot sit back and let events overtake us. We have to be the ones who determine our future.”
The anthrax jab will allow fast-response troops to be deployed to the scene of a chemical attack.