Concerns over Men B vaccine

14th December 2016

Meningitis Now has today expressed concerns that parents may refuse to get their children immunised with the meningococcal B vaccine (Men B) following the moving case of baby Bobby Maguire, whose parents believe the seizures he is suffering could be linked to the Men B vaccination

Men B vaccine
As a charity working to secure the Men B vaccination to all at- risk children, we recognise and value of the regulatory framework that surrounds the use of all vaccines and would encourage parents to continue to get their children vaccinated against this life threatening disease.

This view is supported by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) who said: “The safety of the Men B vaccine has been thoroughly investigated in clinical trials and since then we estimate that over 1.4 million doses of the vaccine have been given in the UK. There is currently insufficient evidence to suggest an association between the Men B vaccine and seizures.”

The Men B vaccine (Bexsero®) was licensed by the European Medical Association (EMA) in January 2013 and like all vaccines, Bexsero was extensively tested for safety and effectiveness before it was licensed.

MHRA keeps the safety of all medicines, under continuous review. The safety profile of the vaccine is as expected and raises no safety concerns. 

Meningitis Now Ambassador and television doctor, Dr Ellie Cannon, said: “There has been significant progress with meningitis vaccines over the last 20 years and, where available, they are by far the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the devastation this disease can cause. In this country we are fortunate to have a well-regulated, thorough and safe system of vaccine use, both before and after any vaccines are introduced into the Childhood Immunisation Programme. This regulation indicates there is not sufficient evidence to suggest a link between this vaccine and little Bobby’s seizures.”

“As a doctor, but also as the mother of a child who has had meningitis, I would encourage parents not to be put off by this sad story and to make sure you get your children vaccinated at the earliest opportunity. It is safe, and the best way to look after them.” 

The Men B vaccine was added to the UK routine immunisation schedule in September 2015. It is offered to babies at 2 months and 4 months with a booster at 12 months.

More information on vaccines and the Men B vaccine