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Background Info

It was open to the SHHD at all times to disregard any JCVI, CSM, MCA recommendation and or endorsement in respect of the Pluserix vaccine and implement their own choices as to brand of MMR vaccine distributed in Scotland. Additionally, the SHHD representative on the JCVI committee, Dr O.A Thores tabled concerns regarding the Urabe mumps strain in May 1990, both in respect of the Canadian decision to stop using it and the neurological side effects being reported in Japan. The SHHD wrote to the DOH raising these concerns in April 1990 but still continued to use Pluserix for a further two and a half years.

The Pluserix MMR was removed from use on September 14th 1992 due to an increased risk of aseptic meningitis in recipient children. The British Paediatric Surveillance Unit (BPSU) was commissioned and financed by the Department of Health to conduct a study of all reported cases of meningitis within a specific timeframe of a child having the MMR vaccine. A follow up study (a year later) of the cohort identified, having matched the criteria for inclusion in respect of lasting sequelae, identified a number of cases of sensorineural deafness. This is a life long permanent condition.

The manufacturers Product Insert (not distributed) to the parents of vaccinees advises of a possible side effect of unilateral sensorineural deafness. Numerous sets of Minutes from the various committees (JCVI etc) have tabled reports of deafness occuring in recipients of Urabe containing vaccines. A number of academic papers have also been written on this subject.

In as much as the Scottish Government have acknowledged and compensated individuals who have suffered lasting disability through other products which were promoted and distributed throughout Scotland and later shown to have caused suffering and disability, will they now give consideration to financially assisting the young adults in our population who endured lasting neurological disability with established causation to the Pluserix vaccine, which was administered to them as babies.

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