Lifesaving Men B vaccine introduced

28th August 2015

Campaigners across the country are today celebrating the roll out of a lifesaving vaccine for deadly meningococcal group B (Men B) disease, a common cause of meningitis

Over the next decade the vaccine could potentially prevent more than 4,000 cases of meningococcal disease in children under five in the UK.

From 1 September the UK becomes the first country in the world to offer its newborn babies the new vaccine Bexsero via a national health service.

We, along with our supporters, have campaigned for over two years to see the ground-breaking vaccine free on the NHS.

“I’m absolutely elated that we now have this vaccine being used to protect our babies."

“I’ve waited 33 years since losing my baby to the same strain for this day to happen."

“So many lives and so much misery will now be spared - more than 4,000 cases of meningococcal disease in children younger than five in the UK could potentially be prevented over the next decade by this vaccine*.”

Steve Dayman MBE, founder of Meningitis Now

“We’re delighted to reach this milestone - it’s a tribute to our supporters’ selfless and tireless efforts."

“However, we can’t lose sight of the fact that for many the roll out comes too late. We’re here for them for as long as they need us.”

“Whilst this is good news – this does not mean meningitis is beaten."

“Our message is ‘don’t become complacent about meningitis’ – there are still not vaccines for all types.”

Sue Davie, CEO

The infant Men B immunisation programme will be available for two month olds, with another dose at four months and booster at 12 months.

There is also a limited catch-up programme for babies due their three and four-month vaccinations in September.

There is still more to do

Our advice is learn the symptoms, stay vigilant and seek immediate medical help if meningitis is suspected.

We will continue our campaigning to see the Men B vaccine extended to other at risk groups.

Find out more

Signs and symptoms of meningitis 

*Over the past two decades in the UK, confirmed cases of meningococcal disease have ranged from 2,750 to 750 annually. This is likely to be an underestimate, because not all cases will have been referred to the laboratory for confirmation.