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Brighton schoolboy dies of meningitis

A schoolboy from the Brighton area died this week after he contracted meningitis, health officials said.

A Public Health England (PHE) spokeswoman said letters have been sent to parents at the boy's school and only those who had come into immediate contact with the child would be at risk of contracting the illness.

Public Health England can confirm that a child from the Brighton area has sadly died of presumed meningococcal septicaemia. This is seldom transmitted from person to person.

Only close household contacts need antibiotics as a precaution against an extremely low risk of the contacts transmitting the disease to anyone else. The child's immediate household contacts have received these. Nobody else needs to receive antibiotics.

Our thoughts are with the family at this very sad time.

– A Public Health England spokeswoman

Meningitis B vaccine to be rolled out by September

The meningitis B vaccine looks set to become part of the national immunisation programme by September this year after the government reached a deal with drug maker GlaxoSmithKline to provide all babies in the UK with the potentially life-saving injection.

ITV News Reporter Duncan Golestani spoke to one family who have been affected by meningitis about why the vaccine is important:


Hunt: Deal means we can roll out meningitis B vaccine

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that a new deal with GlaxoSmithkline means that a meningitis B vaccine can be rolled out this year.

This is one of the biggest worries for any parent who has a baby or a young child - particularly as it affects five or six months olds.

Which is why I am delighted that we have now just secured agreement with GlaxoSmithkline, the company that manufactures the meningitis B vaccine.

We had a stand off for the best part of a year with the company that used to own this vaccine. Since GSK came on board they have reduced the price.

That means that we can now go ahead this year with rolling out the meningitis B vaccine.

I think that is something that families across the country would really welcome.

– Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Charities welcome deal over meningitis B vaccine

The vaccine will be added to the national childhood immunisation scheme. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA

Charities have welcomed the news that the government has reached an agreement with drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to provide all babies in the UK with a potentially life-saving vaccine against meningitis B.

Sue Davie, chief executive of Meningitis Now, said: "To know that babies will be protected against MenB is fantastic and another great step forward in our fight against meningitis.

"Families for whom this comes too late, and for whom we will always be here to support, have campaigned tirelessly and selflessly with us to make sure no other families suffer as they have."

Chris Head, chief executive of Meningitis Research Foundation, said: "When this vaccine is introduced it will save lives and spare countless families the trauma of seeing a loved one die or become seriously disabled because of MenB."

GSK said the deal represented "fair value" for the health service.

Nikki Yates, general manager of GSK in the UK said: "As a British company, we are delighted to have concluded an agreement with the Government just three weeks after we acquired the vaccine, which offers fair value to the NHS and at the same time is sustainable for GSK."

Government reaches deal on meningitis B vaccine

All babies in the UK will soon have a potentially life-saving vaccine against meningitis B. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

The government has reached a deal with drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to provide all babies in the UK with a potentially life-saving vaccine against meningitis B, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced.

Mr Hunt said Britain would now become the first country in the world with a nationwide meningitis B vaccination programme.

The deal follows recent controversy over the Bexsero MenB vaccine after it emerged it was still not available to children despite being recommended by health advisers a year ago.

The drug will now be added to the national childhood immunisation scheme, meaning babies will receive the first vaccine at two months old, followed by two further doses.

Mr Hunt said: "I am very proud that we will be the first country in the world to have a nationwide MenB vaccination programme, helping to protect our children from a devastating disease.

"MenB can be severely disabling or fatal, especially in babies and young children. Losing a child is every parent's worst nightmare so I am delighted that we have reached an agreement with GSK to supply the vaccine."


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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