Parliamentarians reported that meningitis vaccines were always available


The national party of New Zealand

Pfizer officials who appeared in front of the Health Select Committee revealed yesterday that 30,000 meningitis vaccines were available for PHARMAC during the recent outbreak in Northland, says Whangarei's national spokesman and associate spokesman Dr Shane Reti.

"Pfizer offered 30,000 vaccines to PHARMAC that did not even recover them until weeks after a campaign was signed to vaccinate only children aged 9 months to 4 years and aged between 13 and 19 years.

"The vaccination campaign limited to Northland was an attempt to save money, but these vaccines will soon expire, so they must be used.

"Dr. Clark and PHARMAC had a moral and clinical obligation to inform officials and make vaccines available. Instead, they pledged to grab a penny at the expense of vulnerable Kiwi children.

"My colleague Matt King, a Northland deputy, and I petitioned on behalf of Northland residents to address this injustice.

"Then the vaccines were available and now they are available. If they don't get used to it, they will be wasted. Why didn't the Minister allow us to vaccinate more Northlanders?

"The meningitis epidemic has now affected five Northlanders, including a 7-month-old baby.

"The government has a moral obligation to immediately release the remaining vaccines to all children in Northlands under the age of 20, to ensure that they are protected from the devastating effects of W meningitis."

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