The Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) recently expressed its disappointment in the U.K. government’s answer to a petition to broaden the access of children to the MenB vaccine.
The government’s response was that it is too expensive to broaden the program, and that it is more cost-efficient to leave the current MenB vaccine as it is.
The petition had more than 800,000 signatures. Health professionals state the overwhelming support for the petition proves that the general public is more in favor of disease prevention than they are the cost.
“In the past two weeks there has been an unprecedented surge in public awareness about vaccinations against meningitis and private vaccine stocks have run out,” MRF Chief Executive Vinny Smith said. “The demand for this vaccine is clear. A government working group has been reviewing the rules for assessing cost effectiveness of vaccines. We urge that they report their findings soon so that wider use of the vaccine can be assessed under a new fairer system.
"We also urge government to commit to research which will tell us whether vaccinating teenagers could be the key to protecting everyone. This is an exceptional disease, with exceptional fear associated with it. For every parent who worries this could touch their family, 400 cases of meningitis each year is simply 400 too many.”