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Dental Caries

Volume 129: debated on Tuesday 15 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what information he has on the potential effectiveness of a vaccine against dental caries, and if he has any plans to promote the development of such a vaccine.

In 1984 the Department sought advice from the Medical Research Council on the desirability of conducting clinical trials of a dental caries vaccine following research which had been funded by the Department. The Medical Research Council advised in 1986 that there was considerable concern about the prospect of a trial in children of a vaccine of which the mode of action was incompletely understood and about

TitleApproximate Costpurpose
"New People at No. 10"24,000To help make the public more aware of the development of community care.
"Getting Better"20,000To explain Mersey region's 10-year strategy to 42,000 health service staff.
"Person to Person"25,000To be used with a training package designed to improve customer relations.
"Healthy Cities"8,000To introduce politicians, local authorities, educationists, industrialists, members of the public and health professionals to the healthy cities project, Liverpool being a WHO pilot city.
"Needle Exchange"5,000To provide information to NHS managers, other health professionals and agencies worldwide which are interested in establishing needle exchange schemes.
We welcome the authority's commitment to explaining its policies to staff and the public. The region has recouped more than £80,000 so far from video sales to other health authorities, social services departments and other organisations.If my hon. Friend requires further details he may care to contact the chairman of the Mersey regional health authority.

which there were doubts relating to both safety and efficacy. The MRC concluded that more laboratory, field and clinical work would be necessary preliminary to any trial. The council advised that a clinical trial of dental caries vaccine in children in the United Kingdom was not appropriate at that time, nor was this situation likely to change rapidly, and that as the incidence of caries in the United Kingdom is falling the value of a vaccine in the future may be reduced.

In the light of this advice the Department ceased to fund research into the vaccine on 31 July 1987.