The importance of being well informed about all strains of Meningitis
We know that babies and children are vulnerable to infections. Meningitis can kill within hours and newborn babies are particularly at risk. Twenty five per cent of those who survive, can face devastating challenges like hearing loss, epilepsy, cerebral palsy or losing a limb.
There are different types of bacteria that can cause meningitis and blood poisoning. Vaccines are already available to protect against some of them but they don’t work against all. In the UK more than 90 per cent of cases are caused by a bacterium called MenB. MenB kills more children under five than any other infectious disease in the UK and can dramatically change the lives of those who survive.
When will my baby receive the Men B vaccination and how will I be notified of this?
Men B is a new vaccine and was added to the childhood immunisation programme from 1 September 2015. The vaccine will be offered to babies born on or after 1 May 2015 and doses will be given at 2 months, 4 months and a booster at 12 months. Men B vaccine will offered at GP appointments alongside other routine vaccines and parents will be contacted in the usual way.
Will the vaccine offer total protection against meningitis to my child?
There are many different MenB strains. This vaccine has been developed to offer protection against as many as possible. Once it has been in use for some time, it will be possible to calculate the coverage and continue with vaccine research to improve the protection it gives. Other vaccines exist to protect against other types of meningitis and septicaemia, however, there is no vaccine to protect against all types, so remaining vigilant is vital. Learn the signs and symptoms today.