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Concern over MMR vaccination shortage - Bairbre de Brún MEP

11 April, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today expressed concern at the situation the North is facing through a shortage of the MMR vaccine.

Ms de Brún made her comments after local doctors revealed that vaccine shortages could lead to a crisis. There is also a very real fear that hundreds of young people may be at risk of infection right across the Six Counties. Speaking from Strasbourg the Former Health Minister in the Assembly said:

"For a long time children were put at risk because of unfounded fears about the safety of the MMR vaccine. Now that people are coming forward to have their children vaccinated it is a matter of deep concern that there is a lack of MMR vaccines. Some doctors have also expressed concern at a lack of information as to when stocks will be replenished.

"The latest outbreak of mumps is worrying and MMR vaccine is the best way to protect children from the dangers of measles, mumps and rubella. It is one and a half years since the latest outbreak of mumps began and figures suggest that the outbreak is at it highest levels since mumps became a notifiable disease in 1990.

"I am calling on Direct Rule Minister Angela Smyth to address this problem now. She must indicate to the Health and Social Services Boards and General Practitioners when new stocks of the vaccine will be available."ENDS

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