Ask your MP for their support in vaccine debate

6th April 2016

Following the second of the two evidence sessions on extending the use of the Men B vaccine recently, a date has now been set for MPs to debate this. The debate will take place in Westminster Hall at 4.30pm on Monday 25 April

Bexsero debate blog

We want to see as many MPs as possible attend the debate and support the campaign. 

If you haven’t done so already, please contact your local MP. Tell them your meningitis story if you have one and about your support for the petition campaign and ask them to go along and represent your views.

We have a template letter here to download and below that you can adapt for this purpose if you’d prefer not to write your own. And if you’re not sure who your MP is or how you can contact them have a look here  – it will tell you who represents you and how you can get in touch.

We will also be contacting MPs and plan a drop-in session for them to help them prepare for the debate. Several families affected by meningitis will join us and the Meningitis Research Foundation at this session. We will be urging MPs to support our 10-point action plan to protect against meningitis and provide fair access to lifesaving vaccines. You can read more on this here.

Here is the text of the letter …

Template letter for supporters to send to local MP in support of vaccine extension

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Your MP

Address

Dear NAME MP,

You will no doubt be aware of the recent petition to extend the use of the new meningococcal group B (Men B) vaccine to all children under 11 and the forthcoming parliamentary debate on this issue. 

As a local constituent I am writing to ask for your support in the campaign to extend the use of this vaccine and urge you, as my local MP, to get involved in this debate.

Meningitis B is a brutal disease, mostly affecting very small children, and it can kill in just a few hours. It is the most common form of bacterial meningitis in the UK and kills 1 in 10 of its victims and leaves a third of survivors with after-effects.

(INSERT brief details of your meningitis story.)

Charity Meningitis Now and its supporters have campaigned for three years for the ground-breaking vaccine to be introduced free on the NHS and were delighted to see this take effect from 1 September last year.

Despite the success of the campaign the vaccine is only available for the UK’s newborn babies, leaving many children outside Government’s timeframe for vaccination. 

The recent petition, asking for this to be extended, gathered over 800,000 signatures. This makes it the best-supported petition to be presented to Government. It clearly demonstrates the strength of feeling up and down the country on this issue.

Recent research* carried out by Meningitis Now highlights the significant impact the disease has on parents’ and carers’ physical, emotional and financial wellbeing. 

Some parents described being put in a position where they felt unable to protect their children from a disease that has already caused so much havoc, leading to anxiety and illness.

Please give your support to this campaign and this debate. You can find out more at www.meningitisnow.org  or contact me for further details of my meningitis story and the impact this devastating disease has had on my family.

Extending the vaccine‘s use would be a wonderful achievement for any Government and a health legacy that MPs could be proud of. Together we have the opportunity to make a real impact in the fight back against meningitis. The time is now - Let’s Beat It Now!

Yours sincerely,

Signature

NAME

*Meningitis and Me: the devastating and life-long impact of a brutal disease, was commissioned by Meningitis Now and delivered in partnership with Alterline, an independent research agency. November 2015.

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Download a copy of the letter here 

Too many of our children are still being killed and seriously disabled by what is now a vaccine preventable disease. This debate, bought about by the unprecedented response to the petition to extend the Men B vaccination, provides a unique opportunity to end the dreadful suffering caused to families across the country.

Let’s seize the opportunity and Beat it Now!
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