MRF calls on Irish Government to introduce MenB vaccine without delay
05 February 2015
MRF welcomes the news that the Department of Health (DOH) in Ireland has received a letter from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) with recommendations about the introduction of a meningitis B (MenB) vaccine into the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule. NIAC’s recommendations will now be considered by the DOH.
Ireland has the highest incidence of MenB in the European Union affecting, on average, 100 people every year. Anyone of any age can contract the disease but children under five and young adults are most at risk. One in 10 people who contract the disease will die and one in three survivors are left with life changing disabilities including limb amputation, brain damage and deafness.
The vaccine has been evaluated by NIAC since it was licensed in January 2013. Only now, two years after receiving a European licence, has the DOH been informed of their conclusions. The vaccine’s possible introduction is also significant because tragically in 2014 there were several deaths as a result of MenB.
Diane McConnell, Ireland Manager of Meningitis Research Foundation said: “This is encouraging news but we urge Minister Varadkar to act swiftly to introduce the vaccine. As the tragic deaths we saw in 2014 illustrate, delays cost lives and result in disabilities.
This vaccine will protect against MenB.In the absence of a vaccine to protect against all forms of the disease everyone should remain vigilant about the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia.”
To find out more about MenB in Ireland click here
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