HL Deb 11 January 2000 vol 608 cc104-5WA
Lord Clement-Jones

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether there are now adequate supplies available of meningitis C vaccine; and [HL155]

Whether there will be adequate supplies for the next phase of the meningitis C vaccination programme. [HL157]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath)

Deliveries of the new meningococcal C conjugate vaccine began on 25 October and have continued each week since then. The implementation of the meningitis C immunisation programme is vaccine supply led and as soon as each new delivery of vaccine is received from the manufacturers it is distributed to pharmacies and general practitioners.

Since the start of the programme up to and including 26 November, a total of 1,734,560 doses of meningococcal C conjugate vaccine had been distributed throughout the United Kingdom. The immunisation of young people aged 15, 16 and 17 years began from 1 November and the immunisation of babies when they are due for their routine vaccines at two, three and four months and around 13 months began from 29 November. Supplies of conjugate meningococcal C vaccine for the first part of the childhood programme (two, three, four and 13 months) have been increased and deliveries to GPs and pharmacists from 29 November onwards have also increased. From the information we have received from the manufacturers, I am advised that there will be sufficient vaccine to immunise the whole of the target group by the end of the year in line with the plan as set out in the Chief Medical Officer's letter of 18 October, copies of which are available in the Library.