MenB vaccine added to England’s national childhood immunization program
The new vaccine will protect children against MenB, which can be the result of meningitis, an infection that settles in the protective membranes that encompass the spinal cord and brain. MenB can also be caused by septicaemia, or blood poisoning. These illnesses are considered serious and can result in death.
“This vaccine will help to save lives and prevent permanent disability,” Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunization at Public Health England, said. “Meningococcal B disease can be devastating for babies and young children and it has cut many lives short and left young people disabled.”
MenB poses a greater risk to children who are under 1 year old. The illness is most often reported at ages 5 or 6 months old. Because of this, the MenB vaccine will be offered alongside other routine vaccinations at ages 2 months, 4 months, 12 months and 13 months.
“We know that fever in young infants may cause some parents concern, but it’s important to be aware that it will be short-lived in nearly all cases,” Ramsay said. “The vaccine will go on to help protect against MenB disease during a period when babies and young children are most at risk. We’ve all too often seen the disease result in severe disabilities, or tragically even death, causing devastation to our families and communities.”