Letter: Poor handling of vaccine withdrawal

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The Independent Online
Sir: I, in common with many other general practitioners, was dismayed to hear of the withdrawal of two brands of MMR vaccine by the Department of Health ('Vaccine withdrawn over meningitis link', 15 September). The advice that the parents of children recently immunised with MMR vaccine who are worried about the possibility of a vaccine-induced meningitis should contact their GPs, will create mayhem, as the GPs have not been prepared for this by the provision of any information at all.

It is obvious that the Department of Health had planned this action in advance, as we now find that our local hospital pharmacy, which has the duty of supplying GPs with vaccines, knew about this a week ago, but had instructions not to tell any GPs. Aside from anything else, this means that for the last week GPs have been immunising young children with a vaccine that the Department of Health knew it was about to withdraw. This really could have been managed much better.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID BEVAN

Upwell, Cambridgeshire

15 September

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