Meningitis B Vaccine
In response to media coverage on Meningitis, Your Private GP Service would like to provide some information to parents about the Meningitis B vaccine.
Meningitis is a disease which causes the layer covering the brain and spinal cord to become infected and swollen. It can also cause septicaemia (blood poisoning) which is a very dangerous illness.
‘The most effective way to prevent meningitis is to vaccinate’
Meningitis can be caused by bacterial, viral and fungal organisms. Six different kinds of bacterial meningitis: A, B, C, W, X, and Y collectively cause the most disease. Meningitis C was the most common until routine vaccinating of children, with the Men C vaccine, reduced cases to just a handful each year. Currently, there are approximately 1700 cases of Meningitis B each year in the UK, making it the most common type of meningococcal disease.
It is estimated that about 3,200 people get bacterial meningitis and associated Meningitis B Vaccine septicaemia in the UK each year. People of any age can develop the disease, but infants and teenagers are particularly susceptible.
The single most effective way to prevent meningitis is to vaccinate. The Meningitis B vaccine was licensed for use in Europe in January 2013. In 2014 the UK Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation recommended the vaccine for routine use and vaccination of babies in the NHS. This commenced in September 2015. However, the NHS is only omit be vaccinating babies. If your child wasaged over 4 months at the start of the programme, they will not be eligible on the NHS and there is no catch-up programme currently planned. The Meningitis B vaccine is available privately though, for those who wish to vaccinate their children.
If you wish to discuss vaccinating yourself or your child, or to book an appointment, please call Ashtead Hospital: 01372 221 400 or New Victoria Hospital: 020 8949 9640
Please note we only see patients 18 years old and over at Ashtead Hospital.