We must use new meningitis vaccine, says charity
A THORNBURY-based charity helping to fight a killer disease has called on the government to allow a potentially lifesaving vaccine to be used as soon as possible.
Bexsero is the first ever vaccine against meningococcal B meningitis and septicaemia, designed to cover most strains of the disease in Europe.
After yesterday's decision by the European Commission to give the new vaccine a licence, it will now be considered for implementation in the UK by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which provides vaccination advice to the Government. It will meet in June and if it recommends the new vaccine, it could be used in the UK by the end of the year.
The Meningitis Research Foundation, based in Midland Way, Thornbury, has welcomed the move.
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Chief executive Chris Head, pictured, said: "This news is a huge boost for our members and their families, and for doctors and scientists who have all worked tirelessly to overcome this devastating disease.
"We urge the JCVI and UK Government to introduce the new MenB vaccine to the childhood immunisation schedule as soon as possible. Every day of unnecessary delay in introducing this vaccine will cost lives. We must not allow children to die from this disease if it can be prevented"
Meningitis and septicaemia kill more children under the age of five years than any other infectious disease and affect more than 1,800 people each year.