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Health: Meningitis C Vaccine

Volume 709: debated on Wednesday 1 April 2009

Statement

My right honourable friend the Minister of State, Department of Health (Dawn Primarolo) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 27 February I advised the House of a recall of batches of a meningitis C vaccine, Menjugate Kit, and said that I would provide a further Statement when test results were available.

I am pleased to confirm that the manufacturer, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, has conducted sterility tests of all recalled batches and they have proved sterile. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has also conducted its own independent tests which have confirmed the sterility of the vaccine.

It was right, on the evidence at the time and in the interests of public health, that the recall of the Menjugate Kit vaccine was made, as a precautionary measure. The results of these tests are reassuring, and confirm that the vaccine used in the UK was not contaminated.

The UK has a successful immunisation programme that protects children from serious disease. Parents should continue to have confidence in getting their children vaccinated against serious illnesses.