HL Deb 12 February 1997 vol 578 cc21-2WA
Lord Swinfen

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why there are no vaccines available for the immunisation of infants in service families at the Families' Medical Centre at Hohne in Germany; what action is being taken to rectify this situation; and whether any disciplinary action is being taken against the person or persons responsible for ensuring that adequate supply of vaccines is available.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe)

A full range of the required vaccines is now available at the Families' Medical Centre, Hohne, for the immunisation of infants. Problems were encountered in December in replenishing stocks of Haemophilus Influenza type B vaccine (ACT HiB). The manufacturers of ACT HiB ceased production of the vaccine which was replaced by a new product combining HiB with Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTP). The use of this replacement was rejected on medical grounds, as some children had already received a DTP vaccination and would therefore have received a double dose in order to gain HiB protection.

A suitable replacement for ACT HiB, called HiB Titre, was identified by the Medical Supplies Agency. However, an interruption in supply did follow, when the new automated medical supplies replenishment system failed to link supplies of the new vaccine to existing demands for the old product. Once the problem had been identified, supplies of the new vaccine were delivered to Germany within 24 hours. In the circumstances no disciplinary action has been taken.

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