ME in Westminster, 5 May, 6 May, 13 May 2009

Source: UK House of Lords
Date: May 5, 2009
URL: 
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200809/ldhansrd/text/90505w0003.htm 
Ref:  http://www.me-net.combidom.com/meweb/web1.4.htm#westminster 

[Written Questions]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines on chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis are to be reviewed; and, if so, when. [HL3075]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham)

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence will consider in August 2010 whether there is a need to review its clinical guideline on chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis.

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Source: UK House of Lords
Date: May 6, 2009
URL:
  http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200809/ldhansrd/text/90506w0001.htm
Ref:  http://www.me-net.combidom.com/meweb/web1.4.htm#westminster

[Written Questions]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Clinical Network Collaborative Consortium for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is fulfilling the purposes for which it was set up following the Chief Medical Officer’s 2002 report on CFS/ME; whether regional specialist services for patients with CFS/ME are appropriately funded and are operating in all English regions; and whether there are sufficient trained specialist practitioners to meet the needs of patients in each region. [HL3076]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham)

We have made no assessment on whether the Clinical Network Collaborative Consortium is fulfilling the purposes for which it was set up.

It is the responsibility of strategic health authorities to ensure that services are available, and sufficiently funded and staffed with appropriately trained staff, to meet the health and social care needs of those of their local population diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis.

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Source: UK House of Commons
Date: May 13, 2009
URL:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm090513/debtext/90513-0024.htm
Ref:  http://www.me-net.combidom.com/meweb/web1.4.htm#westminster

[Debates]

Cervical Cancer Vaccination

(…)

Mr. Crispin Blunt (Reigate)

I only became concerned about the possible side effects of the Cervarix vaccine-and, I confess, aware of the vaccine itself when the experience of one of my constituents, Rebecca Ramagge, was brought to my attention. Rebecca’s mother came to see me at my surgery 12 days ago and told me how her daughter had fallen ill shortly after her first injection with Cervarix. Over the full course of the injections, she has gone from being a healthy sports-loving teenager who was a high achiever at school and a tournament-level tennis player, to being crippled by chronic fatigue syndrome, unable to attend school regularly and in need of help with basic tasks such as walking and eating because of the exhaustion and the muscular and joint pain from which she is now suffering.

(…)

Rebecca’s case is not an isolated one. Similar stories of severe  reactions resulting in partial paralysis, seizures and chronic fatigue have been well featured in the national press. The vaccine support group JABS-Justice Awareness and Basic Support-has nine girls registered as suffering from severe adverse reactions to Cervarix. A solicitor who  specialises in representing vaccine victims is representing six girls who are suing the makers of the vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline, under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. Yesterday however, the Minister gave me a parliamentary answer that included the following: To date almost one million doses of Cervarix have been given in the UK and there is no evidence to suggest that Cervarix vaccine has caused chronic fatigue syndrome, paralytic disorders or any other serious or long-term side effects.” [Official Report, 12 May 2009; Vol. 492, c. 706W.]

(…)

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Dawn Primarolo)

In the remaining 10 per cent of cases let us remember that we are talking about 0.00017 per cent. of the total vaccines there is good reason to think that the reported symptoms were associated with an underlying condition or illness that the person was suffering from at the time they had their vaccination. That, in fact, appears to be the most likely interpretation for the cases reported in the media recently, including the cases in the Daily Express and Daily Mail of the young girls who were reported as suffering from partial paralysis, chronic fatigue syndrome and fits since having their vaccination. The MHRA is fully aware of those cases, several of which were reported via the yellow card scheme, and is investigating them.

As we vaccinated such a large cohort of young people, it was inevitable that a few cases would come forward where other conditions were reported as suspected side-effects even if the vaccine played no part. Indeed, the MHRA’s statistical analysis of paralytic disorders and chronic fatigue syndrome shows that the reported frequency of such cases is no more than, or should I say the same as, would have been expected among a similar cohort of unvaccinated teenagers. In addition, the Government’s independent advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines, looked into the reports not just in the UK, but across the world and concluded that there are no new safety issues associated with the vaccine.

(c) 2009 Parliamentary copyright

Dr Ian Gibson, former MP for Norwich North, former Secretary to the APPG on ME has been a champion of the mass vaccination of young girls with the cervical cancer vaccine. 

In its 2006 report, the “Gibson Inquiry” (which had been chaired by Dr Gibson) reported:

“Vaccination is often blamed for unexplained outbreaks of illness and regularly appears in the media being accused of such. The Group found that there is no strong evidence to link CFS/ME to vaccination and it is unlikely to be a cause.”

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