MRF calls for effective protection for everyone from MenB

MRF calls for effective protection for everyone from MenB

23 February 2016

MRF are today calling for effective protection from MenB for everyone.

The recent petition calling for extended use of the MenB vaccine in children up to age 11 has proven to be the largest online petition of its kind and should be debated in parliament soon. In the midst of this debate we are asking government to deliver on the plan to show if vaccinating teenagers against MenB can protect the whole population and in so doing protect the 2-11 year olds the current petition to government is calling for.

What we have learned from the massively successful implementation of MenC and other meningitis vaccines is that effective prevention relies partly on directly protecting those at highest risk by giving them vaccinations. For MenB this is under 1’s and the government programme introduced last year is starting this process.

More importantly it relies on protecting the wider population by stopping the spread of the disease. And stopping the spread means attacking the bacteria where they like to live and grow. We know that these bacteria like to live harmlessly in the back of the nose and throats of many people, but they are most commonly carried by teenagers. Teenagers who carry the bacteria then unwittingly pass them between each other as well as on to other more vulnerable age groups.

Vaccinating teenagers could therefore be the key to defeating MenB as it has been for MenC. It could go right to the home of the bacteria, making it difficult for them to survive and circulate amongst the wider population.

We now need to find out if the MenB vaccine can stop teenagers from picking up and carrying the bacteria. The JCVI (the government’s vaccine advisors) called on the government to support research to answer this question but this has not yet happened.

We call on government to act on the JCVI recommendations as our best hope of eradicating this dreadful disease is by using vaccines to stop the infection from spreading.

Vinny Smith, CEO of MRF says “In the light of the unprecedented levels of public interest brought about by the MenB petition we call on the government to urgently examine this vital issue. This petition has done a wonderful job of highlighting the importance of increasing access to the vaccine for children at risk. We know the key to unlocking this is showing whether vaccinating teenagers will stop them acquiring and spreading the disease. Our best hope of eradicating this dreadful disease is by using vaccines to stop the infection from spreading and we need the government to listen and deliver the plan to show the best way to do that.”


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

samanthaw@meningitis.org