Ireland takes another step towards a MenB Vaccine
31 July 2014
A long-campaigned for vaccine against the deadly disease meningococcal group B meningitis and septicaemia infection (MenB) has taken a step closer to recommendation in Ireland with news that a licensed vaccine has been recommended for use with people at risk of the disease because of existing medical conditions.
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), which advises the Department of Health and Children on all vaccine issues, has announced that at risk groups should receive the Bexsero ® vaccine, produced by Novartis. This includes people who have:
- Functional or anatomic asplenia or hyposplenism (including splenectomy, haemoglobinopathies, and coeliac disease)
- Complement or properdin deficiency
- Downs syndrome
- Immunodeficiency due to disease or treatment (including Eculizumab (Soliris))
- Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) recipients
- Solid organ transplant (SOT) candidates and recipients
The committee is still considering whether to recommend making the vaccine freely available in Ireland as part of the childhood immunisation schedule but Meningitis Research Foundation welcomes this important step. Ireland Manager, Diane McConnell says: “We have been marking our 25th anniversary this year and MenB has been top of our agenda throughout that time. Our members and supporters have campaigned tirelessly to save lives from this disease and we are delighted that NIAC has recognised the importance of a MenB vaccine by recommending it for those at risk. Here’s hoping the wider recommendation to implement the vaccine for all Ireland’s children comes soon.”
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