COMMONS

Government bows to pressure from MPs and publishes key report on vaccines

26 February 2018

The Government has today published a key report into vaccines and announced a consultation – one day before the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care, Steve Brine MP, was to appear before the Committee to answer questions on the Government’s repeated failure to fulfil the commitments the Government made in 2016.

Following a petition signed by more than 820,000 people, which called for the meningitis B vaccine to be given to all children, the Petitions and Health Committees in March 2016 heard evidence from families, charities and medical experts. It was made clear that there were serious concerns about how the Government decides whether a vaccine is cost-effective.

The Working Group, known as “CEMIPP”— “Cost Effectiveness Methodology for Immunisation Programmes and Procurement”, has considered and reported on how the cost-effectiveness of vaccines is determined. The Health and Petitions Committees called on the Government in April 2016 to publish the CEMIPP report, and have urged it to commit to a full public consultation on the Government’s response to its recommendations. The Government said in April 2016 that it would publish the report before the end of 2016.

Despite repeatedly urging the Government to act, the Committees, and the petitioners, have been waiting two years for that report.

Commenting on the publication of the CEMIPP report, Chair of the Petitions Committee, Helen Jones, said:

“Since 2016, the Petitions and Health Committees have been urging the Government to publish this report, so we are pleased that it has finally done so. It is, however, regrettable that the Government has taken so long to act, when decisions about vaccines could save children’s lives. Charities and campaigners, including families who have lost children to meningitis, have been left waiting for this report for far too long.

We have also been pressing the Government to commit to a consultation. It is very welcome indeed that the Government has at last agreed to open up these proposals for public scrutiny. The Government must now listen to the voices of survivors and bereaved families.”

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