JCVI announcement: meningococcal group W

13th March 2015

Meningitis Now welcomes today’s announcement by Public Health England to offer immunisation to all 14 -18 year-olds to prevent the transmission of meningococcal group W (MenW) disease.

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This advice follows a report from Public Health England (PHE) that showed a continuing rise in cases of MenW by some 430 percent since between 2009 and 2014.   

The minutes of the latest JCVI meeting acknowledge that the meningitis B (MenB) vaccine could provide direct protection to infants across this strain of the Men disease.

Sue Davie CEO at Meningitis Now said ‘We share the concerns of the JCVI concerning the outbreak of MenW and welcome their decision to take further swift action to reduce its transmission.   We also note the JCVI’s recognition that the Men B vaccine is likely to provide direct protection to infants against the   Men W strain, but remain deeply concerned that the introduction of the Men B vaccine continues to be held up in negotiations, some eight months after they began.  Surely now we will see the negotiations between the Government and vaccine producer, being concluded and the Men B vaccine introduced to save lives now and protect babies not only against MenB but MenW as well”

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