MenB facts

24th February 2016

11 Things You Need To Know About MenB

A brave decision for Faye

The brave decision of Faye’s parents to share the images of their daughter has done an incredible job to raise awareness of this terrible disease. 

Their actions will already have saved lives by increasing people’s awareness of the signs and symptoms. It has now been announced that the petition will be debated in parliament.

There is concern amongst some people about whether there is an increase in the disease and about the current shortage of the Men B vaccine. People can be assured that Men B disease is still a rare disease and people are at no more risk now than they were a few weeks ago. The shortage of the vaccine for private supply is likely to continue until the summer and the most important action people can take is to remain vigilant about the signs and symptoms of meningitis. Above all, if you are in any doubt, trust your instincts and seek medical advice. 

  • In the UK, on average, an estimated 300-975 under 5’s contract Men B each year with around half of these being under 1
  • People can be assured that meningitis is, comparatively, a rare disease and people are at no more risk now than they were a few weeks ago
  • The most important action people can take is to remain vigilant about the signs and symptoms of meningitis. If in doubt, trust your instincts and seek medical advice. This action would not change even if more people got the Men B vaccine as there are not vaccines for all types of meningitis
  • The sad death of Faye and the subsequent push of her petition raised a huge amount of awareness around the UK. Already, Faye’s story will have benefited thousands of people; however, this petition did not cause the shortage of the Men B vaccine. The shortage of private supply was made public late in January and Faye’s story was released February 16
  • The NHS vaccination program covers all babies born after May 1st 2015 and is unaffected by the shortage
  • The Men B vaccine is expected to become available privately again this summer. We do not have a definitive date but will update when we know
  • GPs and private clinics have been inundated with calls regarding the vaccine which has hugely impacted their normal appointments – please remember, this vaccine is NOT available privately currently.
  • You can join waiting lists for the vaccine but we do not have a list of practices 
  • The Men B vaccine is not an easy or quick vaccine to produce
  • GlaxoSmithKline is the only UK supplier of the Men B vaccine
  • Faye’s petition is definitely going to be debated by MPs – we don’t yet have a date as to when

Find out more about the Men B vaccine in our FAQs

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