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Single mumps vaccine supplies to be halted

Worldwide shortages of single mumps vaccines have forced a leading UK supplier of unlicensed medicines to announce it would be unethical to provide any of the single measles, mumps or rubella vaccines.

IDIS, a specialist provider of more than 17,000 internationally licensed medicines around the world, said manufacturers are no longer producing or exporting the vaccines and it has had severe problems with meeting demand for many months.

But stocks of single mumps vaccines have now depleted to the point where it is impossible for UK suppliers to get hold of any.

As a result of the shortage IDIS took the 'ethical decision' not to supply or take orders for any of the single vaccines.

Natalie Douglas, director of IDIS, said: 'We knew the continuous uncertainty regarding supply was unsatisfactory for customers and was raising patient hopes that a full course of treatment could be provided.'

The Department of Health said: 'Giving children six separate vaccines spread out over a long period is dangerous, leaving children vulnerable to catching diseases while they remain unimmunised.'

Latest vaccine uptake data from the Health Protection Agency showed confidence in MMR may be returning with uptake for October to December last year rising by 1.3 per cent to 81.1 per cent.

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