Unprecedented Support for Meningitis B Vaccine Petition
Many of you will have seen and signed the online petition calling for the Meningitis B vaccine to be administered to all children, and not just new-born babies. This petition took off in response to Faye’s tragic meningitis story.
Faye was only two years old when she contracted meningitis B, which she hadn’t been vaccinated against. Faye’s death created an enormous amount of public interest, resulting in lots of press and social media activity for Meningitis Now.
The petition called for the government to expand the current vaccination programme to include all children up to age 11. At present only babies born since 1 May last year are eligible for the vaccination.
Government Rejects Meningitis B Petition
The public response was huge, with more than 800,000 people signing the petition. In fact, this is now the most-signed petition in parliamentary history. But despite this unprecedented outpouring of public support, the government rejected the petition, stating that a roll-out of this magnitude would not be ‘cost-effective’.
The official response stated that the current vaccination covers children in the highest risk category and cited advice by advisers at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), stating:
‘The NHS budget is a finite resource. It is therefore essential that JCVI’s recommendations are underpinned by evidence of cost-effectiveness. Offering the vaccine outside of JCVI’s advice would not be cost-effective…’
But this struggle is not over. Meningitis Now has countered that the current cost-benefit analysis employed by the government underestimates the impact of meningitis on families. Currently – and at the JCVI’s request – the Department of Health is re-examining the methodology of its analysis.
MPs will be debating this and the charity’s call for a one-off catch-up programme for under-5s on Monday 25 April. Meningitis Now is asking supporters to contact their MP to ask them to take part in the debate and support the call to extend the use of the vaccine.
B&A Group firmly support Meningitis Now in their insistence that all children up to age 5 should be vaccinated. Last year, we pledged to raise £100,000 for Meningitis Now to help fund research into a vaccine that will help eradicate all strains of meningitis. We’re accomplishing this through a variety of fund-raising events, personal sponsorship and in partnership with our customers and suppliers.
Faye’s story has made us even more determined to meet our goal. Please click here to make a donation.