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"Prevention has to be the best option"

"The Department of Health's own studies show meningitis is the disease most feared by parents. It's one of the few illnesses in modern Britain that can kill or seriously maim a healthy child within hours of the first symptoms.

"With the UK Government committed to reducing child deaths, it's inconceivable that a MenB vaccine should be licensed yet go unused in the UK.

"Prevention has to be the best option, that's why we have invested over £17m in vital research. But now the UK has the chance to save over a thousand people every year from the devastation of MenB.

"Surely we should be seizing it and taking that all-important step towards a world free from meningitis and septicaemia."

– Chris Head, Chief Executive of Meningitis Research Foundation

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Meningitis charity calls for vaccine approval

A health worker prepares a meningitis vaccination Credit: PA

A meningitis charity is warning that thousands of families could suffer if a life-saving vaccine is not implemented by the Government.

It comes as the Meningitis Research Foundation launches its annual awareness week across the country.

Campaigners from south-west Scotland and Cumbria have joined in the fight to try and have a meningitis B vaccine approved for use in the UK.

Michael Pattie, from Dumfries, lost his 13-year-old son David to meningitis in 1999 Credit: ITV News Border

People are urged to get whooping cough vaccine

Doctors in Cumbria are making renewed calls to pregnant women and parents to protect their children from Whooping Cough as the number of confirmed cases in Cumbria this year nears 200.

Parents are being urged to get their children vaccinated and mums-to-be are urged to get the vaccine to protect their unborn children.

Nigel Calvert from NHS Cumbria explained more about whooping cough and why it's important to get immunised.

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Calls for more to get whooping cough vaccine

Doctors in Cumbria are making renewed calls to pregnant women and parents to protect their children from Whooping Cough as the 190th case is confirmed in the county.

There are surges in whooping cough cases every three to four years and the latest outbreak started at the end of 2011.

The Health Protection Service has reported that this is already the worst for more than a decade.

As the country faces a whooping cough epidemic parents and mums to be are being urged to get their children and unborn babies vaccinated.

GPs can give the vaccine as part of the flu vaccine campaign for pregnant women. Both vaccines are free for all pregnant women 28-38 weeks into their pregnancy and can be given at the same time as flu vaccine. Associate Director of Public Health for NHS Cumbria, Nigel Calvert said:

"Babies and infants have limited immunity to infection and whooping cough can make them very ill indeed, so it is essential that children are immunised as soon as they reach the appropriate age for the vaccine. All too often we've seen vaccinations delayed, perhaps because of holiday commitments, and babies remain vulnerable in that period.

"My message to parents is that they should make the vaccination of their children, at the right time, a priority. Whooping cough is an unpleasant illness that can last for weeks and in extreme cases it can result in death. The best way to avoid suffering in the child and anguish in the rest of the family is to stick rigidly to the vaccination schedules."

– Associate Director of Public Health for NHS Cumbria, Nigel Calvert

Whooping cough epidemic warning

Pregnant women urged to get the vaccine Credit: PA

As the 190th case of whooping cough is confirmed in Cumbria doctors are urging pregnant woman and parents to protect their children against it by getting the vaccination.

Figures from the The Health Protection Agency show there has been an increase in cases both locally and nationally and there are warnings the country faces an epidemic.