Foundation welcomes Health Secretary's MenB statements
22 March 2015
International charity Meningitis Research Foundation is greatly encouraged by Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt's weekend statements regarding the introduction of a meningococcal group b (MenB) vaccine into the childhood immunisation programme in the UK.
Speaking on the first anniversary of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation's recommendation to introduce the vaccine against the main cause of life-threatening meningitis in the UK, Mr Hunt told the BBC, that he was hopeful that a deal on price with the manufacturers of the Bexsero vaccine would be reached "very soon".
The Health Secretary followed that statement up on Sunday by tweeting,"As dad of 3 under 5 I know how terrifying Men B is for parents. We're working hard to intro vaccine ASAP: I'm hopeful deal can be done soon."
These were the kind of statements the Foundation was hoping to hear when it launched its #WheresOurVaccine
campaign. The Foundation, its members and supporters and health professionals joined together to raise awareness of how long it had been since the JCVI's recommendation and the amount of death and disability that has occurred since that date.
Christopher Head, Chief Executive of Meningitis Research Foundation said: “MenB has been at the top of this charity's agenda for decades and we are delighted that vaccinating all babies against this most feared and deadly disease has now seems within sight.”
Mr Head continued: “When the vaccine is introduced it will save lives and spare countless families the trauma of seeing a loved one seriously disabled by the devastating after effects of MenB. The bitter experience of those who have suffered was vital in our campaign for this vaccine, demonstrating the compelling case for prevention. We pay tribute to them and pledge to continue supporting them.”
Despite the Health Secretary's statements, clearly there is a way to go until negotiations are successfully concluded and the Foundation shares Mr Hunt's hope that this will be very soon.
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