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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.


Meningitis B jab 'would save lives'

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:

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.

– Sue Davie

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.

Meningitis B vaccine 'unlikely to be cost-effective'

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.

Meningitis B vaccine rejected

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 vaccine is the only one available that protects against Meningitis B Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA

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.

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