Friday 18 October 2019

'Sympathy but no liability,' says State in swine flu vaccine case

Courts

Ms Bennett was only 16 when she got the vaccine as part of a mass vaccination programme as the country braced itself for a threatened human swine flu pandemic 10 years ago. Stock image
Ms Bennett was only 16 when she got the vaccine as part of a mass vaccination programme as the country braced itself for a threatened human swine flu pandemic 10 years ago. Stock image

Tim Healy

The State has expressed "greatest sympathy" for Aoife Bennett, who is suing claiming she developed narcolepsy after she got the swine flu Pandemrix vaccination.

But counsel for the HSE and the Health Minister, Paul Gallagher SC, told the High Court that as far as the State is concerned there is no liability to Ms Bennett.

On the fourth day of Ms Bennett's action, which is a test case for as many as 100 other cases relating to the swine flu vaccine, the State parties to the action put forward their defence.

Ms Bennett was only 16 when she got the vaccine as part of a mass vaccination programme as the country braced itself for a threatened human swine flu pandemic 10 years ago.

Ms Bennett, of Lakelands, Naas, Co Kildare, has sued the Health Minister, the HSE, the vaccine producer Glaxosmithkline Biologicals SA and the Health Products Regulatory Authority.

Mr Gallagher said the allegation that Irish children had been vaccinated because the State was not prepared to dump vaccines was of no substance.

Counsel said that there was "absolute disclosure of all appropriate information" and the public campaign for the vaccination programme, he said, was unprecedented and extensive.

The case before Mr Justice Michael McGrath continues on Tuesday.

Irish Independent

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