HC Deb 13 June 2003 vol 406 c1121W
Mr. Chope

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many schoolchildren have not received BCG vaccinations in the current school year because of a shortage of vaccine; and if he will make a statement. [114069]

Ms Blears

No schoolchildren should have missed out on the opportunity of receiving BCG vaccination.

There were no supplies of BCG vaccine from August to November 2002, following Evans Vaccines voluntary withdrawal of all batches of their BCG as a precautionary measure after discovering, during stability testing, that a number of batches did not comply with the requirements of their registered specifications for potency during its shelf life. This was a decision taken by the company outside of our control and was wholly unexpected.

However, district immunisation co-ordinators were asked to arrange catch-up programmes for children in their areas who may have missed out receiving their BCG immunisation once supplies were available from 25 November 2002.

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