Meningitis B vaccine roll-out rejected

The only vaccine to protect against a deadly form of meningitis should not be offered to children in the U.K, immunisation experts say.

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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

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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

Parents call for Meningitis B vaccine for children

The parents of a toddler who was left severely disabled after contracting Meningitis B are calling for a new jab to protect children against the potentially fatal disease.

Julie Tuckley, 37, said no children should have to go through what her son Tommy Brown did.

Tommy Brown was left severely disabled after contracting Meningitis B Credit: Meningitis UK/PA Wire

Tommy was struck down with the infection when he was five months old, and doctors said that he had just a 5% chance of survival.

But after a life saving operation, during which he had both of his legs, his right hand and left-hand fingers amputated, the 19-month-old survived.

Tommy's parents said that the "lifesaving" vaccine, which was approved for use by European health chiefs in January, should become routinely available on the NHS.

Meningitis: What are the symptoms?

The UK has some of the highest rates of bacterial meningitis in Europe, charities have warned.

Around six families a week lose a loved one to meningitis, with as many as one in ten of those infected likely to die.

A new campaign is urging families to be more aware of meningitis symptoms:

Early symptoms

  • Severe headache
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Fever
  • Vomiting (being sick)
  • Feeling generally unwell

Later symptoms

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Seizures or fits
  • Being unable to tolerate bright lights
  • A stiff neck
  • A rapid breathing rate
  • A blotchy red rash that does not fade or change colour when you place a glass against it

Two-thirds of UK parents unaware about vaccinations

Meningitis charities have warned that more than two-thirds of parents in the UK are unaware that current vaccinations do not protect their children from all forms of meningitis.

A new campaign Meningitis: Keep Watching has urged parents and families to Pledge to Protect their children from meningitis by learning more about the disease and ensuring vaccinations are up to date.

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Six people die from meningitis each week in the UK

Bacterial meningitis kills more children under five in the UK than any other infectious disease, a study has found.

UK is a 'meningitis hotspot', leading charities have warned Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The UK is one of the top three meningitis hotspots in Europe, with six people dying from it each week, leading meningitis charities said.

The charities are calling for parents to learn the signs and symptoms so they can act fast if they suspect their child has it.

Read: New Meningitis B vaccine approved for UK use

Next stage for new meningitis vaccine

Professor Simon Kroll, a Paediatric and Meningitis specialist, has described the next stage for the vaccine:

"The next stage is discussion between the Department of Health and the manufacturers, and ultimately it's up to Government to decide how the vaccine is introduced in to the schedule - but we haven't got that point yet."

Read more: Meningitis: A guide to how to spot the symptoms

New Meningitis vaccine 'has taken years to get there'

Helen Dolphin contracted Meningitis when she was twenty-two and contracted Meningitis. In order to save her life doctors had to amputate all four of her limbs. She said today's new vaccine has been a long time coming. She said:

"It is amazing to think in this day and age we can have a virus that can cause this much devastation, to so many people. The work that has been done, to find a vaccine, it has taken years to get there, and I fully support its implementation"

Read More: Meningitis: How to spot the symptoms

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