backs Meningitis vaccine campaign 26th February 2014
North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, is backing a campaign to give all babies the
meningitis B vaccine - after meeting families left devastated by the disease.
Sir Roger joined MPs from all parties and
families directly affected by meningitis, to call on the government to make the
vaccine available free on the NHS.
The campaign is being led by Meningitis Now,
the UK’s largest meningitis charity
Roger says:: In the next few weeks the Health
Secretary will decide whether to make the Meningitis B vaccine available to all
babies on the NHS, as part of the national immunisation programme.
The lives of some families in my own constituency have
been turned upside down by this disease.
This vaccine has the potential to save two children’s
lives every week and that’s why I’m supporting Meningitis Now and asking the
government to make the right choice – bring in the vaccine now.”
The UK has one of the highest Meningitis B
incidence rates in the world, affecting an average of 1,870 people each year
over the last 10 years, most of whom are babies and children.
Meningitis B accounts for 50% of the total
cases of bacterial meningitis in the UK.
Meningitis Now has been campaigning to bring
in the B vaccine since January 2013 and has collected 36,000 signatures on a
chief executive Sue Davie said: I
want to thank Sir Roger for his support and for taking time out to meet
families affected by meningitis.
We are sending a clear message to the government – put
babies and children’s lives before cost and make the decision to introduce the
Meningitis B vaccine now.”
The meningitis B vaccine was licensed for use
in the UK in January 2013 and has been considered twice by the Joint Committee
on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), in June then October 2013.
After seeking more evidence on
cost-effectiveness, the JCVI considered the vaccine in its February 2014
meeting and will make a recommendation to the Health Secretary.
Jeremy Hunt is expected to consider the
recommendation in March and publish a decision the same month. It is not known
what the outcome will be.
information on Meningitis Now, the disease and how to support the Beat it Now!
vaccine campaign visit www.meningitisnow.org