Editorial

MenB vaccine leads the way

The Meningococcal B vaccine was added to the childhood immunisation programme in September 2015 and is offered to all babies born on or after May 1 2015.

The Meningococcal B vaccine was added to the childhood immunisation programme in September 2015 and is offered to all babies born on or after May 1 2015.

The vaccine was introduced into the UK schedule following recommendation from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation. This followed an analysis of evidence about who will benefit most from the vaccine, how many doses should be given to children of what age, the effect of the vaccine on disease incidence and population immunity, the amount of vaccine and resources available to deliver the programme, and the vaccine’s cost effectiveness.

Due to the serious consequences of meningococcal disease, cases are often reported in the media. As a result, parents want to be sure that their children are protected and there have been calls for the programme to be extend. The NHS has a responsibility to ensure money is spent on treatments that give the most benefit, and nurses are ideally placed to assure parents that the programme has been based on these considerations and aims to protect infants before they reach five months of age, when the risk is greatest.

The UK was the first country to include the vaccine in a routine infant programme and professionals are assessing its impact

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The UK is the first country in the world to include the MenB vaccine in a routine infant programme. There is an excellent infrastructure in this country to ensure that the programme is constantly monitored for effectiveness, and that changes can be made when and where necessary. Public health professionals around the world are assessing its impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The vaccine alone will not prevent all cases of disease, and there is no vaccine at all for some meningococcal serogroups. Other bacteria can cause meningitis and septicaemia in children, so we must remain vigilant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For further information, access:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Department of Health’s Spotting the Sick Child

 

 

 

 

Meningitis Now’s Signs and Symptoms

 

 

MenB and MenACWY programmes and advanced training slides

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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