My hon. Friend will be aware that there are a good number of British troops deployed in the Kurdish region in northern Iraq, training the peshmerga in their ongoing military fight with Daesh, and we know that Daesh seeks to capitalise on some of the chaos of the pandemic to make advances. I understand that our deployment in Iraq will be growing slightly over the next year, so will my hon. Friend assure me that anybody deployed there will be fully vaccinated, and that the troops who are training and who are still engaged in military operations have equal access to the vaccine?
Defence Minister, James Heappey replied. I can reassure my hon. Friend that 96% of people currently serving on Op Shader — that will include those who are based in Cyprus as part of the aircrew—have been vaccinated, and 31% have had their second dose. I can assure him that they will receive their second doses as soon as it is medically advisable for them to do so. I cannot, however, tell him that it is policy to vaccinate the troops with whom they are partnering.