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05-21-03, 03:20 PM
Soldiers Claim New gulf War Ailments

May 18, 2003, London Times

Soldiers claim new Gulf war ailments

DOCTORS are treating at least four British soldiers believed to have fallen ill as a result of multiple vaccinations they received before going into action in Iraq, writes Jonathon Carr-Brown. The soldiers say they are suffering from a condition similar to Gulf war syndrome which thousands of veterans of the 1991 conflict claim made them ill but which the Ministry of Defence denies exists.

The National Gulf War Veterans and Families Association says two reservists and two regulars have contacted them complaining of severe illness after vaccinations.

The claims come as the ministry awaits a judge's decision this week on whether it has to pay millions in compensation to almost 2,000 ex-service personnel who say they suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after previous conflicts.

The revelation that troops from the Iraq war are complaining of illness will embarrass ministers. In January, Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, said the practice of giving troops multiple jabs in a single day would be stopped.

However, Shaun Rusling, the association's chairman, said: "We have documentary evidence from these soldiers that they were given five vaccinations on one day."

The ministry said: "There's no evidence that vaccinations taken together have adverse health effects."