Minister Fails To Assure On Meningococcal Vaccine
No assurances from Minister on meningococcal vaccine
The Minister of Health failed to give any assurance to the Health Select Committee today that the meningococcal vaccination campaign would begin in the near future, says National's Associate Health spokesman, Dr Paul Hutchison.
Despite earlier claims by the Minister that the meningococcal vaccine is safe, it is yet to be licensed by Medsafe, and officials told the Select Committee they are waiting for final checking from international experts.
Dr Hutchison says the meningococcal epidemic is very serious and it is worrying that Minister Annette King still can't give any assurances two weeks after telling Parliament the vaccine is safe.
"It is alarming that the Minister refuses to give the public any more information about the suspect vaccine.
"She has an obligation to address
concerns that the whole batch of vaccine may need to be
thrown out, and that valuable health dollars are being
wasted on hired vaccinators who have nothing to do.
"Furthermore, the Minister has denied it was unwise and
premature of her to tell Parliament on 17 June that 'the
vaccine is safe, and will provide protection against the
epidemic strain Group B meningococcal disease', when, on the
following day, it was revealed Medsafe had still not
licensed the vaccine," he said.