Current campaigns

In September 2015 we achieved a significant milestone in our fight to beat meningitis with the introduction of the meningococcal group B vaccine (Men B) to all children aged 1 as part of the childhood immunisation programme

Balloons
Momentous in its delivery, this important vaccine was quickly accompanied by the introduction of the meningococcal ACWY vaccine, following a reported increase in Men W cases amongst teenagers. This vaccination programme featured a vaccination for both schools and universities.

Our campaign priorities

  • Fair access to vaccines

For many parents, the announcement of the Men B vaccine for UK babies was a bittersweet moment, as they realised that their baby fell outside the government’s defined age range for immunisation. Since its introduction we have campaigned to extend this vaccine to all children up to the age of five, and have played a critical part in securing the UK’s largest parliamentary e-petition and debate on this subject.  In its response, Government used current costs of vaccines and an important review of vaccine cost effectiveness to refuse the call of the 823,000 petitioners.

The long overdue cost effectiveness report was published in January 2018 and having assessed it, we are deeply concerned that it could have significant consequences to vaccines in the UK. Read for our response to this report here.  

  • Help us protect Students from Men W

In addition to broadening the protection offered by the Men B vaccine, we remain committed to protecting young people from Men W, cases of which continue to grow. Whilst the school programme has seen around 80% of those eligible receiving the Men ACWY vaccination, the university programme has been less successful with take up rates in the region of 38%. 

The good news is that young people going to university in September 2018 will have been vaccinated at school and whilst on the surface this is great news, it does conceal the fact that the majority of this age group will not have been vaccinated against Men B. We are concerned about meningitis complacency and confusion amongst young people, and are working with parents and universities to drive home the important message that they are not protected against all strains of the disease.

Templates

As part of our campaign to keep young people safe from Men W we are asking all MPs to highlight this issue in their constituencies by writing to universities and asking them to do more to inform and motivate the young people in their care. To assist in this we have produced a template letter for use by MPs.

Download it here:

Join us

As a part of our ongoing commitment to keep MPs updated on key issues around meningitis we publish regular MP briefing documents and hold annual briefing events in Westminster. Attended by families directly affected by the disease, these events offer an ideal opportunity to hear first-hand how this devastating disease changed their lives and futures.

Get involved help us reduce the burden of meningitis by supporting our policy priorities.

You can also help us ensure that meningitis stays on the health agenda by:

  • Asking parliamentary questions 
  • Raising the profile of every meningitis case that occurs in your constituency
  • Taking part in our campaigns
  • Attending parliamentary briefings and events
  • Meeting with families affected by meningitis in your constituency

Get involved

If you’d like to learn more about how you can make a difference, we’d love to hear from you or your office. Email us at pressoffice@meningitisnow.org