Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) welcomes the news that researchers at Public Health England (PHE) and St George’s University of London have found that an estimated 700 cases of meningitis have been prevented since pneumococcal vaccines were first introduced to the UK immunisation schedule in 2006.
Pneumococcal meningitis is a deadly disease killing 1 in 6 of those who contract it and leaving 1 in 3 survivors with long term disabilities including hearing loss, brain damage and visual impairment.
The research studied the impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines on meningitis in England and Wales, and found that the childhood vaccination programme has reduced the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease, including meningitis, across all age groups through a combination of direct and herd protection.
MRF is a leading UK and international charity working to defeat meningitis, raising awareness of the impact that meningitis can have on people of all ages, and the importance of vaccination for preventing the disease. Immunisation saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognised as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.