Maria Caulfield – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Maria Caulfield on 2016-01-22.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department plans to carry out an equality impact assessment of the tender decision on the universal girls vaccination programme for the human papilloma virus; and what the implications are for that programme of a decision to award it to one using the bivalent vaccine.

Jane Ellison

The Department has no plans to conduct an equality impact assessment on the tender decision following the on-going re-procurement of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for the adolescent girls programme. The current programme, recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the expert body that advises the government on all immunisation matters, protects girls against HPV strains 16 and 18 which are responsible for about 70% of cervical cancers.

The Department and Public Health England are currently undertaking a procurement exercise to secure vaccine to support the girls programme and as this is a competitive tender, it would not be appropriate to pre-judge the outcome of that exercise. The procurement will take account of the costs and benefits of all vaccines offered to establish which provides best value for money for the National Health Service.