A clinic offering an alternative to the controversial MMR jab has been hit
by a shortage of the mumps vaccine.
Direct Health 2000, in Liverpool, offers separate measles, mumps and
But of the 3,332 children who were signed up to the course of treatment
in 2001, only 150 have completed the set one year later.
The clinic said Department of Health restrictions on importing the
mumps vaccine were responsible for the delays.
We have chosen to go down this route because it's the safest route
for our child
Tracy Lashford, parent
Direct Health Chief Executive Sarah Dean said: "We are having a severe
problem with the mumps supply line.
"We have found that there are restrictions being placed onto how many
vaccines, or mumps vaccines particularly are allowed into the country at
any one time."
The Department of Health limits imports to 25 doses of each order of
the vaccine per day.
It said the vaccine was not intended as a mass alternative to the MMR
jab - which has been linked with autism.
When clinics began offering separate injections, the department said it
was worried some parents would not complete the full course.
The clinic attracts parents worried about MMR
But parents at the clinic said they were growing frustrated with the
One - Tracy Lashford - said: "We have chosen to go down this route
because it's the safest route for our child and we can't see any reason
why we can't be allowed to do that."
She added she was worried she might have to wait several months for her
daughter, Emily, to complete the set of vaccinations.
But she said she was determined to see the course through.
The clinic said it informed each child's GP once they had been
vaccinated, so that they could be monitored.
The North West Office of Public Health said it believed the triple MMR
vaccine still remained the safest option available to parents.