Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Marc Mac Sharry has called on the government to release key information regarding the Pandemrix controversy.
The drug was administered in Ireland in January 2011 as a stopgap for the normal winter flu vaccine, despite the fact that other EU countries had launched investigations into the drug and potential links to the sleep disorder narcolepsy.
Deputy Mac Sharry commented, “There are serious questions to answer here, and despite my raising this issue in the Dáil only last month, the answers remain outstanding. The fact that the vaccine was recalled, only weeks after it was reissued in January 2011, has never been explained. Neither the Minister for Health, the Taoiseach or the Chief Medical Officer has offered any clarification.
“Photo calls and crisis commentary are no longer acceptable when the culture of deny, delay and defend is clearly the most common denominator in the mission of those charged with responsibility for patients’ lives.
“The time has come for answers and I am calling on the Health Minister, Taoiseach and the Chief Medical Officer to clarify what was known and when. It’s over 7 years since this drug was administered, at a time when investigations were underway in other EU countries. Silence is no longer acceptable – we need answers”.