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Scientists back vaccine against 'parent's greatest fear'

The Department of Health is expected to announced that it has reversed a recommendation made last October by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the efficacy of a vaccine against meningitis B.

Read: Meningitis B vaccine 'to be available on the NHS'

The Meningitis Now charity has been campaigning for the vaccine to be available on the NHS in the hope of saving thousands of lives.

Around 200 scientists and researchers backed a petition last month calling the disease "a parent's greatest fear" and calling for a swift reappraisal of the recommendation from JCVI, the body responsible for advising the government on vaccinations.

Meningitis B vaccine 'to be available on the NHS'

A vaccine against deadly disease meningitis B will be made available free on the NHS, the Independent reports.

The Independent is reporting that a vaccine for meningitis B will be available on the NHS. Credit: AP

The Bexsero treatment was licensed in Europe in January but it was not recommended to be adopted by the NHS due to a lack of evidence over effectiveness.

According to the Independent, the Department of Health is set to announce tomorrow that the recommendation has been reversed.

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Charity: We must consider the 'burden' of the disease

The founder of Meningitis UK, Steve Dayman, said burdens of the disease need to be taken into account when decisions are made about the Meningitis B vaccine.

Steve lost his 14-month-old son Spencer to meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia in 1982.

He said children like Tommy Brown, who was left severely disabled after contracting Meningitis B, will need "life long support".

He told Daybreak: "We feel it's not just the cost of rolling out the vaccine, we have to consider the burden of the disease as well."

Meningitis B vaccine decision to be made next month

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will meet next month to discuss the cost-effectiveness and safety of the Meningitis B vaccine.

NHS officials said there is "no guarantee that the JCVI will rubber-stamp a positive decision" because the drug is expensive.

The experts are expected to make one of three decisions:

  • To include the jab in the routine NHS vaccination schedule
  • To provide the vaccine on the NHS to high risk groups
  • For the vaccine to only be available to parents who wish to pay for it

Parents: The Government needs to act on vaccine

Parents of a disabled toddler are calling on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to give the green light to the Bexsero vaccine.

We strongly support the campaign as we don't want anyone else to go through what we have - it still impacts on us now and will for life.

It's a horrendous disease that kills or leaves people like our Tommy with awful after-effects.

It's simple - there should be no question - the Government needs to act and put this great vaccine on the NHS immediately. It will save so many lives and stop others from suffering like Tommy, so everyone should rally behind Beat it Now.

– Mr Brown, Tommy Brown's father

It can't help Tommy but it could help other kids.

We tell him he is our brave small soldier returning from war - injuries and all. It makes me cry to see him alert and looking about - then looking at where his hands and legs used to be, as if he is wondering where they are.

It was so painful to see him suffer and go through the operations, but he is remarkable and is superb at adapting - we're lucky to still have our beautiful boy.

– Ms Tuckley, Tommy Brown's mother
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