To ask the Minister for Health if the National Immunisation Advisory Committee has concluded its health technology assessment of the recently-licensed Meningitis B vaccine, Bexsero, and if he has received the group’s recommendation.
Seán Kyne T.D.
The immunisation programme in Ireland is based on the advice of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC). NIAC is a committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland comprising experts in a number of specialties including infectious diseases, paediatrics and public health. The committee’s recommendations are informed by public health advice, international best practice and by the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics.
A Health Technology Assessment which includes a cost benefit analysis must be carried out prior to any new vaccines being considered. This has a vital role in ensuring that care technologies, including vaccines, are used in a manner appropriate to their ability to maximise health gain and achieve value for money.
The are currently no plans to introduce Meningococcal group B (Meningitis B) vaccine in Ireland, however should the NIAC advice recommend its inclusion into the primary childhood immunisation programme in Ireland, my Department, in association with the Health Service Executive National Immunisation Office will examine the issue.