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Children turned away as vaccine supply runs out

7 February, 2007


Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said that the turning away of babies and young children from medical centres because of a lack of the BCG vaccine is a disgrace. The lack of sufficient supply of the vaccine, used to inoculate children against tuberculosis, was exposed by Deputy Ó Caoláin yesterday following a report from a concerned north Dublin parent.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said that the HSE has confirmed the supply shortage, citing the manufacturers as being responsible. It is expected it will be at least a couple of weeks before supply is restored.

The Cavan-Monaghan TD said: "This is an extremely alarming situation. It is imperative that every effort is made to secure the necessary BCG supply and without delay. The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, must make a public statement explaining the situation in detail. She must also endeavour to reassure the many worried parents whose children have been unable to secure their vaccination. The backlog of cases must be addressed as a priority with the restoration of supply."

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