Reviewing data made available on the private purchase of the meningococcal group B (MenB) vaccine since December 2013:
- Richest area in England – London and South East – account for 65.33 per cent/around 2/3 of vaccine private take up. This is almost twice as much as the rest of England, 34.66 per cent.
- South East and Greater London has 26 per cent of UK population, but 61 per cent of private sales.
- 1/3 of private sales are in 2.4 per cent of population – London boroughs – Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Merton, Barnet, Richmond upon Thames, Croydon, City of London.
- In the North East, which has the lowest disposable income in England, and where disease prevalence is 50 per cent that of the South East, has less than two per cent total sales in region.
- In North East, population 2.6 million, only 243 doses were privately bought. In Kensington and Chelsea, which has highest income and household prices in Europe, population just 159,000, private sales are above 1,200.
- Within Greater London, over 75 per cent of private sales are in five boroughs, with only 14 per cent of Greater London population. Namely, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Merton, Barnet, Richmond.
A Meningitis Now survey of 1,008 Mumsnet members from 2013 showed that ‘only one in three parents can afford Bexsero for their children’.
Meningitis Now CEO Sue Davie said: “The Health Secretary has long spoken of the NHS’ ‘legal obligation to reduce health inequality’, and these shocking statistics show that the stalled negotiations are enhancing the problem.
“Why should only the wealthy be able to protect their children from death and disability?
“They shouldn’t have to choose between protecting their children or simple necessities such as feeding their family.
“We urge Mr Hunt to stand by his words made just five days ago and push through negotiations before parliament dissolves and more families feel the devastation of meningitis.”