Written Answers. - Vaccination Programme.

Denis Naughten


259 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Health and Children further to an Adjournment debate on 21 March 2001, when the information requested from health boards regarding the tracing of people who received a drug (details supplied) will be furnished; his views on whether this delay is satisfactory in view of the fact that this trace should now be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19259/03]

As explained in my reply to the Deputy's question No. 157 of 8 May 2003, it was not possible to obtain and collate the details requested by the Deputy in the time allowed. The relevant information has now been received from the boards concerned and is as detailed below.

The Mid-Western Health Board's records indicate that 183 people in that region received vaccine from Trivax batch number 3741; of that group, the board was successful in obtaining current addresses for 104 individuals to whom they then wrote advising that they had received vaccine from that batch. Of these, 67 contacted subsequently telephoned the board in order to get further details. Of the 183 recipients, one individual is known to have an intellectual disability and is on the board's intellectual disability database.

An extensive trawl of records by the North-Western Health Board has identified three individuals in that region who received vaccine from Trivax batch number 3741. I understand from the board that none of the three individuals involved has a learning disability.

The Southern Health Board undertook a comprehensive search of vaccine records which included the following measures: an examination of the electoral register; the board wrote to a number of GPs to request their assistance and sent lists relevant to their area; community welfare officers and public health nurses were consulted regarding the possibility of identifying recipients, and; an examination of board's intellectual disability register. This search identified that 106 people – the figure of 107 which was provided by the SHB for Parliamentary Question No. 181 of 4 July 2001 was subsequently revised – in the Southern Health Board region received vaccine from Trivax batch number 3741. Letters were sent to those for whom the board had current addresses, 37, which asked the individuals concerned to make contact with the relevant senior area medical officer. Of these, 29 subsequently made contact with the board.

In a further 18 cases, the individuals were no longer resident at the home address and the board considered it inappropriate for reasons of confidentiality to make contact with the home. I understand from the board that despite all of the above attempts, it was not possible to contact the remaining individuals. According to the Southern Health Board, none of the 29 individuals contacted had suffered any ill effects from the vaccine. The board has confirmed that none of the 106 individuals are on their intellectual disability register.
The Western Health Board identified three persons who received vaccine from Trivax batch number 3741. The board clarified this by explaining that they were unable to trace any other records as the register represents vaccinations in the Galway area only and in most cases batch or lot numbers were not written in at the time when vaccination was given. The board has stated that none of three individuals concerned are included on their learning disability database.
In conclusion, I am satisfied that the four health boards concerned have completed a thorough search for all relevant records and have done all that is reasonable within their power to contact the individuals concerned.