Meningitis charities said thousands of lives could be saved if children had access to a vaccine that was today rejected by the Government.
Sue Davie, chief executive of the Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK, said:
– Sue Davie
This is extremely disappointing news after all our supporters and our hard work over decades to introduce a vaccine.
We understand the committee's concerns about impact and cost, but we believe this vaccine is safe and we know it will save lives.
The more we delay, the more lives are being lost.
Meningitis UK estimates that there are 1,870 cases of meningitis B each year in the UK. It says that one in 10 people affected will die.
There is "insufficient" evidence available to support the introduction a Meningitis B immunisation, Government-appointed experts have said.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said the efficacy of the Bexsero vaccine "has not been established" and it is "high unlikely" to be cost-effective.
The vaccine was licensed by the European Medicines Agency at the start of the year.
A vaccine that protects against a potentially deadly form of meningitis should not be offered to children in the UK, immunisation experts have said.
The independent panel, which advises the Government on which vaccines should be offered in the UK, released a draft statement saying that the treatment against meningitis B should not be rolled out.
Meningitis B, which is most common in children under five years old, and in particular in babies under the age of one, is a highly aggressive strain of bacterial meningitis. It can cause severe brain damage, septicaemia or even death.