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Mum campaigning to protect babies from deadly meningitis

A Southampton mum, whose baby son survived meningitis, is encouraging parents to get their babies vaccinated against the disease.

Amy Carson knows how important it is to protect your child from the illness and is using Meningitis Research Foundation’s Awareness Week to get the message across.

From the start of September, the UK introduced a comprehensive vaccination programme against meningococcal B (MenB) meningitis and septicaemia for babies. Amy is urging parents to take advantage of it.

Amy, Pete and Oscar Carson Credit: Phillips Photography

Her son, Oscar, was just 6 months old when he was struck by the disease last year:

"I was devastated when the doctors said he had meningitis. Meningitis is something that you read about. Something that happens to other people, not to us. There were times when I thought we would lose him, as he got worse before he got better and it took almost three weeks for us to see any improvement at all.”

– Mum, Amy Carson

Chris Head, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Research Foundation, says it is vital people are aware of the symptoms. Meningitis can strike anyone, at any time, and there are also vaccination programmes for teenagers and first time university students. Meningitis kills one in ten, and leaves a third of survivors with severe life altering effects such as deafness, brain damage and loss of limbs.

Woman calls for meningitis vaccine to be made available on the NHS

A woman from Farnham who almost died from meningitis has told ITV Meridian she's appalled at delays in introducing a vaccine to save lives.

Last March, a jab which could protect millions of children was approved - but it still isn't available on the NHS because of a dispute over how much it costs.

The Meningitis Research Foundation estimates that there are around 3,200 cases of meningitis and septicaemia every year in the UK. As many as one in ten of those affected will die.

And a third of survivors will be left with serious, life-long disabilities such as brain damage, amputation and blindness.

22-year-old Amy Davis, who contracted meningitis four years ago, is now urging the government to make the vaccine available as soon as possible.

Mel Bloor reports

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Volunteers to capture badgers for innoculation

They are either seen as charming, nocturnal creatures who are a rare treat to spot - or as a bacteria-ridden pest bringing disease to our farmers - badgers polarise opinion like perhaps no other wildlife creature in this country.

Long linked with the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis, the animals have, in some parts of the country, been culled to stop the spread of the disease. But in East Sussex, a project's underway to vaccinate the creatures instead.

David Johns explains, talking to Kate Edmonds from the Sussex Badger Vaccination Project; Annie Vernon from the National Farmers Union; and wildlife conservationist Trevor Weeks MBE.

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Badger Vaccination Appeal

In order to protect local badgers, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust will start to vaccinate the badgers across the region against bTB in July this year.

Badgers need to be vaccinated to avoid culling in the summer Credit: Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Badgers play a big part in the spread of Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) which can have a devastating effect on cattle and cattle farmers.

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson announced earlier in the year that pilot badger culls will go ahead in June.

The Badger Vaccination Appeal has already raised over £39,000 towards initial costs of the programme but the appeal's target is £45,000.

Donations can be made via phone or cheque in the post to the Trust.