Promising new vaccine

Promising new vaccine

23 December 2010

Meningitis Research Foundation today welcomed the news that a potential meningococcal meningitis B vaccine candidate has been submitted for approval.

Pharmaceutical giant Novartis Vaccines today submitted a European licence application for their candidate meningococcal B vaccine. Meningococcal B is the most prevalent strain of meningitis in the UK and Ireland, but, due to the complex nature of the bacteria, a vaccine which provides protection for children and broad coverage has so far been difficult to develop.

“A vaccine against meningitis B would be a tremendous achievement in the UK,” said MRF’s Chief Executive Chris Head. “A vaccine against this strain will be most welcomed by parents across the country however they need to remain very vigilant against this deadly disease,” added Chris.

Meningitis B is responsible for over 1000 lab confirmed cases across the UK each year, mostly in young children. Of these cases around 6% will result in deaths, whilst 10% of survivors will be left with moderate or serious after-effects, such as limb amputations, deafness and/or blindness, and brain damage.

Diana Man from East Sussex, had Group B meningococcal septicaemia in November 2007 at the age of 25. As a result, she had to have her legs amputated and her right hand, as well as losing the tips of her fingers on her left hand. Since then she has been in and out of hospital and also suffers from epilepsy.

Diana’s experience highlights how vital it is to get an effective meningitis B vaccine introduced into the immunisation schedule.

For information on the signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia, you can call MRF's Freefone 24 hour helpline on 080 8800 3344 (UK) or 1800 41 33 44 (Ireland), visit our symptoms page  or download the free ‘meningitis bug blaster’.app from i-tunes

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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