HC Deb 24 April 1998 vol 310 cc732-3W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will introduce single vaccine components of MMR. [38141]

Ms Jowell

No. Following the scientific seminar organised by the Medical Research Council, the Chief Medical Officer wrote to all health professionals on 27 March concludingI therefore recommend that children should receive measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at the appropriate times, and should not be given the separate component vaccines, since there is no evidence that doing this has any benefit and it may even be harmful.

Copies of the full letter are in the Library.

The World Health Organisation has written to the Department advising: We believe none of these data in the Lancet of 28 February 1998 provide a basis for providing the different components of this vaccine in separate schedules. We wished to inform you of this as a means of offering you and your colleagues support in remaining firm in supporting the continued use of this highly effective vaccine which has such an outstanding safety record.

The option of separate vaccine immunisation is not supported by an studies into its safety or efficacy.