Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (652)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

652. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce the new Meningitis B vaccine into the immunisation programme; if so, if he will indicate how soon this will happen; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9729/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The immunisation programme in Ireland is based on the advice of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC). NIAC is a committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland comprising of experts in a number of specialties including infectious diseases, paediatrics and public health. The committee's recommendations are informed by public health advice, international best practice and by the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). A Health Technology Assessment which includes a cost benefit analysis is carried out prior to any new vaccine being considered. This has a vital role in ensuring that care technologies, including vaccines, are used in a manner appropriate to their ability to maximise health gain and achieve value for money. Should NIAC advice recommend the inclusion of a new vaccine into the primary childhood immunisation programme in Ireland, my Department, in association with the Health Service Executive's National Immunisation Office will examine the issue.