Shocking: shortage of TB vaccine leaves newborn babies at risk – – Our News, Your Views

Shocking: shortage of TB vaccine leaves newborn babies at risk

165_bcgIt has been reported today that vaccinations against tuberculosis will not be available in Ireland again until later this year or early next year.

According to the Minister for Health, Leo Varadker, the BCG vaccine will not be available due to production difficulties, delivery delays and problems sealing the vials.

The company which produces the vaccine, which is based in Denmark is the only licensed producer of the vaccine in the EU, providing many other countries with their products as well as Ireland.

The Danish company has been under investigation since 2014 and was forced to cease production during this period due to problems with the capping of the vaccination vials. Though the investigation was recently completed and the company are due to release the products produced in 2014, it is expected that the shortage of vaccinations will continue as it will take time to deliver the batches to Ireland as well as other EU countries.

The issue was raised in the Dáil by Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams after Sinn Féin County Councillor for Co. Louth, Jennifer Greene was informed that her baby, which is due in three weeks, would not be able to receive the vaccination.

Adams raised the issue with the Minister for Health as the Department of Health has been aware of the issues and shortage since last year and has failed to find an alternative distributor, putting the health of over 50,000 babies at risk.

Ms. Greene has stated that “The HSE have on their website currently, it’s advised that all babies of two months to three months be vaccinated against TB and get the BCG vaccine…so I don’t know why the Government are turning around when they don’t have the supply and saying…we don’t need it. We do need it”.

The HSE will arrange appointments for children who haven’t received the vaccine once the supply is available.


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