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Ministry needs to be upfront on MeNZB

26 September 2006
Ministry needs to be upfront on MeNZB*

The Ministry of Health needs to be upfront about adverse health effects experienced by children vaccinated with MeNZB* in light of revelations that ACC has accepted 33 claims for adverse events related to the vaccination process, and more than two thousand adverse reactions have been reported, Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"This vaccine had not gone through phase three clinical trials before it was rolled out, and had only been granted provisional consent, which means it should only have been used on a restricted basis for the treatment of a limited number of patients.

"Given the Ministry's decision to vaccinate over a million New Zealand children with a vaccine that had not undergone phase three clinical trials or been given full approval, it is absolutely vital that the parents of all children who took part in the programme are fully informed of any potential adverse health effects.

"I am particularly concerned that several Norwegian Professors of Medicine have recently expressed grave concerns about the safety of the Norwegian Meningococcal B vaccine. The Norwegian vaccine was a parent vaccine for MeNZB*, and was held up here as reassurance that MeNZB* was safe and effective.

"Also of concern is the fact that there is reporting of adverse events is voluntary in New Zealand, so the real number is potentially far greater than we are currently aware of.

"The Norwegian National Institute of Public Health has launched an investigation into the Norwegian vaccine because of concerns about its safety. It would be prudent for New Zealand to do the same," Ms Kedgley says.


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