for vaccine trials investigation
News Saturday, 21 August 2010 08:05
Former residents of orphanages and mother and baby homes have called for
an independent inquiry into vaccine trials carried out on children in
the 1960s and 1970s.
call came after it emerged that a number of people who were involved in
the trials are to take legal action against the drugs company involved.
Department of Health report, published in 2000, found that at least 211
children in orphanages and mother and baby homes took part in
four-in-one vaccine trials in the 1960s and 1970s.
reported in the Irish Independent yesterday, the trials were carried out
in a number of institutions, including the mother and baby home at the
Sacred Heart Convent in Bessborough, Co Cork.
former resident of Bessborough - 50-year-old Mari Steed - said she was
given the vaccine there when she was between nine and 18 months old,
without her mother's consent.
Steed, who now lives in the US, and three others are preparing to take
legal action in the US courts against the drugs company,
1993, the then Minister for Health, Brendan Howlin, said that his
Department had carried out an investigation into the trials and found
that children who received the vaccines had not suffered any ill
2000, the Laffoy Commission on Child Abuse was asked by then Government
to investigate the trials.
the Commission dropped its investigation after court action was taken by
the doctors involved.
residents of State institutions have now called on the Government to
publish all files relating to the trials and to establish an independent
Gael's Denis Naughton has supported these calls, saying the reports
highlight one of the dark stories behind the vaccine scandal of the
1960s and 1970s.
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