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Meningitis vaccine added to child immunisation programme

Public Health England has added a vaccine which protects children against meningitis and blood poisoning to its immunisation programme 

A vaccine to guard against meningitis and blood poisoning is being added to the NHS’s childhood immunisation programme in England from today.

Public Health England says the change will protect children against meningococcal group B disease (MenB), which leads to meningitis and septicaemia.

Babies will be given the MenB vaccine with the other routine vaccinations at two months, four months and 12-13 months.

Infants under one are most at risk of MenB, and the number of cases peaks at around five or six months of age.

Public Health England head of immunisation Mary Ramsay said: ‘This vaccine will help to save lives and prevent permanent disability.

'MenB disease can be devastating for babies and young children and it has cut many lives short and left young people disabled.’

Some children could experience fever when the vaccine is given alongside other immunisations, added Dr Ramsay.

Public health minister Jane Ellison said: ‘This is a landmark moment.

‘We know the suffering MenB can cause to families.

‘Now, in our country, every new baby can get this free vaccine to protect them from this terrible disease.’

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