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Written Answers - Vaccination Programme

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 651.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  the position regarding the safety of the flu vaccine Pandemrix; if it is actually in the public interest; his views on whether it should be banned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16973/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly Pandemrix is licensed for use across the EU by the European Medicines Agency for prevention of influenza caused by the H1N1 influenza virus.

The indications for Pandemrix changed following an EU review of concerns about a link between vaccination with Pandemrix and narcolepsy in children and adolescents. This resulted in a recommendation that Pandemrix should only be used in people under 20 years of age unless the annual seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine is not available, and if immunisation against H1N1 is still required, for instance in people at risk of the complications of infection.

The HSE has not recommended use of Pandemrix in Ireland since early 2011, when GPs were advised to return any remaining stocks to the HSE for disposal.

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