NIAC recommend MenB vaccine for Ireland
05 March 2015
MRF is delighted with the news today that the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has recommended the introduction of a meningococcal B meningitis and septicaemia (MenB) vaccine into the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule. The Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, confirmed that the letter he received from NIAC, in January, contained a positive recommendation “if the vaccine can be made available at a cost effective price”.
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; in fact meningitis kills more children under five than any other infectious disease. One in 10 people who contract the disease will die and one in five survivors are left with life changing disabilities including limb amputation, brain damage and deafness.
This vaccine has been available privately in Ireland since December 2013 but there are high costs involved for families getting their children vaccinated so it’s introduction into the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule would make it accessible to all.
Diane McConnell, Ireland Manager of Meningitis Research Foundation said: “This news is very positive for everyone who has been tirelessly campaigning for this vaccine against Meningitis B. We know a delay in introduction into the schedule could costs lives and could leave those who contract the disease with life-long disabilities so we urge Minister Varadkar to act swiftly and introduce this life saving vaccine as soon as possible.
This vaccine will reduce the incidence of MenB but until its introduction people should still be vigilant about recognising the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia. MRF's work in Ireland will continue and we still needs funds to support families affected by the disease and undertake vital research.”Read more about MenB in Ireland
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