Health Minister David Clark has once again changed his story about when he knew there were enough Meningococcal W vaccines for all under 20-year-olds in Northland, Whangarei MP Dr Shane Reti says.

“The Minister and the Prime Minister have been saying publically for months that a global shortage was the reason for the limited vaccination programme. It’s now been revealed that there were enough vaccines all along.

“David Clark first said the limited vaccinations were because of a global shortage, then he said he only found out last month that there were additional vaccines, and then he told media he was actually informed in November that additional vaccines were available.

“The expert advisory group decided on the limited vaccination campaign on November 8th. Pharmac was told the following day, after the experts met, that further vaccines could be sourced but the expert group was never reconvened and given that information.

“The expert group made recommendations without knowing there were 30,000 extra vaccines that could have resulted in different recommendations. The Ministry preferred they didn’t know so that they could save money with a limited campaign.

“The people of Northland deserve straight answers from both David Clark and the Prime Minister. They have both described the immunisation campaign as a success, despite a seven month old going on to contract the disease. They can’t rule out that her immunisation and community immunity could have prevented that.”


A letter from the Ministry of Health

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