MenB vaccine is working

5th September 2016

The MenB vaccine has halved cases in vaccine-eligible children within 10 months of the programme starting

Men B working

Public Health England findings, released today, show the number of MenB cases dropped by 42%, with 37 cases recorded against an annual average of 74 in the previous four years.

The vaccine is over 80% effective against all MenB strains in vaccine-eligible infants.

Liz Brown, our Chief Executive, said: “This is a hugely encouraging progress report and we’re delighted that cases amongst those eligible for the jab have halved since it was introduced a year ago.

“But we can’t afford to rest on our laurels yet.”

The charity has renewed its call for Government to extend the vaccine to the remaining 2.1 million children under 5 who remain at risk and is warning parents not to be complacent about the disease.

“Today’s news tells only part of the story,” Liz added. “This vaccine will save numerous lives, but there are still many types of meningitis which it does not protect against. Children born before May last year remain unprotected and are at increased risk of catching this deadly and devastating disease up to the age of 5.”

“We would encourage parents not to become complacent on hearing this news, and remind them to remain vigilant to the signs and symptoms of meningitis. They should seek immediate medical help should they suspect the disease.”

The news has also been welcomed by vaccine manufacturers GSK (GlaxoSmithKline).

Dr Thomas Breuer, Chief Medical Officer, GSK Vaccines commented:  “We are extremely encouraged by the outcome of the UK programme, which demonstrates that Bexsero[1] helps to protect babies from what can be a life-threatening disease.

“The data substantially advances our understanding of the impact of meningitis B vaccines in a real world setting and may help inform public health authorities around the world about their future use. The report shared provides reassurance to parents who have already vaccinated their children or wish to help protect their children from meningitis B in the future.”

Read about our 10-point action plan to protect our children from Men B here.

For more information on the signs and symptoms of meningitis, and to download a free app click here

1] Source. Accessed September 2016

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