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23 / 10 / 2009 - Northern Ireland Health Minister questioned on safety of flu vaccine for pregnant women
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The Association of Catholic Lawyers of Ireland (ACLI) has written to the Health Minister for Northern Ireland requesting information on the swine flu vaccine.
Northern Ireland's swine flu vaccination programme was launched by Health Minister Michael McGimpsey on Wednesday 21 October. The first batches are being given to those in "at risk" groups - including all pregnant women.
Mrs Johanna Higgins, Barrister from the ACLI is demanding answers from Mr McGimpsey on the safety of the vaccine for pregnant women and young children.
The full text of Mrs Higgins letter:
Dear Mr McGimpsey,
Under the Freedon of Information Act I request the following information regarding swine flu injections in N Ireland:
The Irish Times reported on the 21st October 2009 the following:
"THE GERMAN Medical Association (BAK) has advised against giving young children and pregnant women the new swine flu vaccine Pandemrix, containing an immune system-stimulating compound." (full article at: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2009/1021/1224257146987.html)
The DHSSPSNI are rolling out the vaccine Pandemrix for Special Needs children and Pregnant women.
I request sight of all documents and reports outlining why the Department has chosen Pandemrix.
1. Was any evidence presented to the DHSSPSNI that Pandemrix was not suitable for pregnant women and young children?
2. Are you aware of the effects of the combined ingredients in adjuvant vaccines on pregnant women and young children?
3. Is there any experience of the combined ingredients in Pandemrix being given to pregnant women or young children?
4. Given the DHSSPSNI directive to dentists that pregnant women should avoid having mercury fillings replaced during pregnancy, why is a vaccine containg mercury considered safe for pregnant women and their babies?
5. Do you intend to let the public know of the differing medical opinions regarding this vaccine?
6. Has the Department made a policy decision to recommend a vaccine, Pandemrix, which they would not normally consider suitable, due to the predictions of a possible pandemic?
I await your reply.
Mrs Johanna Higgins
Association of Catholic Lawyers of Ireland