Meningitis research into vaccination of babies

18 February 2002

Results of a research project, funded in part by Meningitis Research Foundation, which took place in Hampshire and Dorset, are now available.

Five units in Hampshire and Dorset took part in a research project to find out whether premature babies respond well enough to the new Meningococcal C vaccine to be protected against meningitis and septicaemia, the blood poisoning form of the disease.

The project looked at 105 premature babies over a one-year period and established that giving the vaccine at the same time as the other infant immunisations is effective in preventing illness in these vulnerable infants. This project took place in neonatal units and the community in Portsmouth, Southampton, Basingstoke, Winchester and Poole.

Dr Martin Slack, Specialist Registrar at the Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton said, "The funding received from Meningitis Research Foundation has allowed this research to go ahead in Hospitals and the Community in Hampshire and Dorset. The results are of national significance to the UK immunisation programme as we have been able to show that the Men C vaccine is effective in premature babies, just as it is in babies born full-term."

Denise Vaughan, Chief Executive of Meningitis Research Foundation said, "We are delighted that this research has shown that the Men C vaccine can protect even premature babies against this devastating disease. As 98% of the Foundation's total income results from voluntary donations the funding of this research project would not have been possible without the general public's generosity. Until there are vaccines to prevent all major forms of meningitis and septicaemia, research remains vital."

Further information about the work of Meningitis Research Foundation or about the diseases, can be obtained from the Foundation's Freefone 24 hour helpline - 080 8800 3344.

Read more about this project:

Research archive for the public - How well does the new Men C vaccine work in premature babies when given with other infant immunisations?

Research archive for the scientific community - Immune response to a combined three component acellular pertussis-hib vaccine given at the same time as a meningitis c conjugate vaccine to premature babies

Sam Williams
Media Relations Manager

Hi, I’m Sam and I’m MRF's PR Manager.

If you want to know more about this story call me on 0333 405 626251, out of office hours on 07875 498047 or email me