Ellie Mae Mellor's mum asks #WheresOurVaccine?
13 March 2015
Kelly Mellor from Stoke on Trent has written to her MP to ask for their help in ensuring the long overdue introduction of the meningococcal Group B (MenB) vaccine.
MenB has for decades been the single largest cause of meningitis in the UK. Young children and adolescents are most at risk. It leads to death in 10% of all cases and to long-term after effects in a further 36%. Department of Health (DH) surveys have consistently shown that it is the most feared of all illnesses by the parents of young children in our country and each year it costs the NHS millions of pounds in medical litigation.
A vaccine against MenB which was recommended by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on 21 March 2014 to be routinely given to children in the UK, but almost a year on there are no signs that the vaccine will become part of childhood immunisation programme anytime soon. Meanwhile cases of MenB continue to occur and babies, children and adults are dying and being badly disabled as a result.
Charity Meningitis Research Foundation has launched the #WheresOurVaccine campaign to bring pressure to bear to introduce the life-saving vaccine as soon as possible.
Kelly said: “I am supporting the #WheresOurVaccine campaign because my daughter Ellie Mae contracted meningococcal septicaemia in February 2007 at the age of 11 months. Ellie Mae survived this awful disease but not without cost. She has had 76 operations, lost both of her legs, her left arm, her bottom, the septum of her nose and part of her left ear.”
Kelly has written to local MP, Joan Walley, to ask her to ask the Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt, why the introduction of vaccine is taking so long. She has also written to prospective parliamentary candidates in the constituency to find out their views on MenB implementation before the forthcoming general election.
Kelly also comments: “Anyone who agrees with me that this life-saving vaccine is taking too long to implement can make their feelings known by signing the online #WheresOurVaccine petition at www.meningitis.org/wheres-our-vaccine
Chris Head, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Research Foundation said: “We appreciate that the JCVI stated that the vaccine recommendation was subject to a cost-effective price being agreed between the vaccine manufacturer and the DH, but these price negotiations have been ongoing since July 2014 and have stalled. The cost effective price range for this vaccine was published in October last year with an upper limit only just over £20 - a substantial saving on the official NHS list price of £75. As both the manufacturer and the government are negotiating within this published cost effective range, we cannot see why an accommodation cannot be reached.”
“We also realise there are many pressures on NHS budgets but this Government claims to want people to be fit for life throughout their life. Surely the answer is to protect future generations by vaccinating to prevent disease? We’d also like to see a MenB vaccine for older children introduced and a programme for adolescents. A number of deaths at university at the beginning of the academic term demonstrate meningitis is still a very real threat to this age group.”
“We hope that by Kelly writing to Joan Walley we can find out why the vaccine still hasn’t been implemented and when it will be. We will not stop until every child is protected from this disease.”Read more of Ellie Mae's storyAdd your support to the #WheresOurVaccine campaignMedia contact
: To speak to Kelly Mellor please contact Becky Pierce-Jones on 01454 280416 / firstname.lastname@example.org
or Adrian Robson on 01454 280417 / email@example.com
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