This Vaccine Is Now Offered To All Babies From September!
All newborn babies in England and Scotland are now offered a vaccine against Meningitis. The new scheme came into practice in September 2015 but I thought I’d remind everyone after reading this heartbreaking story in the news today.
Today, a mother shared an image of her daughter Faye who was just two years old before she sadly passed away from meningitis. She did this as part of an online petition for vaccines to be compulsory for all children.
Her family said they were enduring “a pain you cannot describe” after the toddler contracted meningitis B.
Their photographs of Faye, including one of her in hospital, have now gone viral.
The vaccine is now offered to babies, aged 2, 4 and 12 months on the NHS for free and means that England is the first country in the world to offer babies the vaccine as a standard treatment on the National Health Service. In addition to this, in a bid to help combat the rise of meningitis cases in adults, all 17 and 18-year-olds will receive the combined Meningitis ACWY vaccine from August.
Although this was a breakthrough move, there are still thousands of older children like Faye who are being left unprotected due to the age restrictions.
More than 270,000 people have signed a petition calling for the NHS vaccination programme to be widened to all children.
Parents who want to have older children vaccinated must currently pay privately.
The infant Men B immunisation program began on September 1. The vaccine is offered to babies starting at two months of age, followed by another dose at four months and a booster dose at 12 months.
The Men ACWY vaccine programme will begin in August with 17 to 18-year-olds and older university entrants (aged 19 to 25) being offered the vaccine.
These age groups are at the highest risk of infection because of close contact in shared accommodation, such as university halls of residence.
Some of the symptoms of meningitis include a high fever with cold hands and feet, confusion, vomiting and headaches. If caught early enough most children will make a full recovery with antibiotic treatment but about one in four of those who survive is left with long-term problems, such as amputation, deafness, epilepsy and learning difficulties.
Sue Davie, chief executive of Meningitis Now, told the BBC: “Although the introduction of the Men B vaccine on the childhood immunisation scheme for young babies was a momentous achievement, saving thousands of lives, there are still so many, like Faye, left unprotected.
CLICK HERE to read Faye’s full story over on BBC News.
CLICK HERE to find out if your child’s car seat is one of the thousands being recalled.