MPs to debate giving meningitis B vaccine to all children

A call to give the meningitis B vaccine to all children will be debated in Parliament after a petition received more than 700,000 signatures.

A debate will be scheduled once the House of Commons has heard from some of the families who have been affected by meningitis B and medical experts.

The Petitions Committee said this would ensure MPs taking part in the debate are better informed.

The support for the online campaign follows several high-profile cases involving the virus, that can kill its victims or leave them in need of life-changing amputations.

Pictures of two-year-old Faye Burdett, from Maidstone, Kent, who died from the virus on Valentine's Day, prompted a surge in support for the cause and the petition received a further boost when England rugby hero Matt Dawson revealed his two-year-old son, Sam, was recovering after contracting meningitis C.

The petition has been signed by more than 780,000 people. Credit:

More than 780,000 people had signed the petition by Wednesday morning. Any petition that receives more than 100,000 signatures is considered for debate in Parliament.

The petition has now received more signatures than any other on the Parliament website. The previous record was held by the petition to ban US presidential hopeful Donald Trump from the UK, which received nearly 580,000 signatures.

A vaccine to protect against meningitis B is available on the NHS for babies aged two months, followed by a second dose at four months and a booster at 12 months.

The petition calls for the programme to be rolled out to children at least up to 11.