Thursday, 4 July 2013
Department of Health
264. To ask the Minister for Health if the new vaccine for menigitis B, called Bexsero, will be introduced into the childhood immunisation schedule as it has recently been licensed by the European Commission; and the time frame expected for its introduction [32683/13]
265. To ask the Minister for Health his plans, if any, for the introduction of the new vaccine into the childhood immunisation schedule that protects against Meningitis B disease which was recently licensed by the European Commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32692/13]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 264 and 265 together.
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.