Meningitis B – Can Wales afford it? Government’s treat populations and not individuals.

England and Scotland will fund the vaccine which has had a prolonged negotiation about price and funding. NHSreality wonders if Wales can afford it? Would the increased numbers of deaths justify rationing it out in Wales? Good news for England and Scotland… A government’s duty is to populations and not to individuals… GPs will doubtless be delivering the service…

The Daily Telegraph reports 21st June 2015: Meningitis B vaccine for all UK babies from September – Nationwide rollout of vaccine will save thousands of lives, campaigners say

All babies in England and Scotland can be vaccinated against meningitis B from September in a move that experts described as lifesaving.

Parents will be able to get jabs for the strain of the deadly brain infection for youngsters at the ages of two and four months, with a booster when they are a year old, the Department of Health and Scottish Government announced.

They said that the infant programme, available from GPs, meant England and Scotland were the first countries in the world to begin “national and publicly-funded meningitis B immunisation”.

Teenagers aged 17 and 18 in the final year of sixth-form and other students aged 19 to 25 who are starting university this year will also be able to receive a vaccination against the A, C, W and Y strains of the infection from August, the Department of Health said, which is “particularly important” for those heading off to university.

Public health minister Jane Ellison said: I am very proud that we will be able to offer families extra peace of mind with these new vaccination programmes from this summer.

“The nationwide meningitis B programme will mean that England leads the world in offering children protection from this devastating disease.”

Around 1,200 people, mainly babies and children, get meningitis caused by the meningococcal group B bacteria each year in the UK, with around one in 10 dying from the infection.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the plan to roll out vaccinations in March, after the Government reached a deal with drug maker GlaxoSmithKline.

The decision followed controversy over the Bexsero MenB vaccine after it emerged it was still not available to children despite being recommended by health advisers a year previously.Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “These two new vaccination programmes will offer families in Scotland extra peace of mind.

“We’re delighted to be one of the first countries in the world to introduce a nationwide MenB vaccination programme to help tackle the effects of this disease, which can be devastating for children and their families.”

Ministers in the devolved governments of Wales and Northern Ireland said at the time they were also taking steps to have the meningitis B vaccination introduced.

Next spring will also see it started in schools, where it will replace the meningitis C only vaccination currently given in years nine and 10.

Sue Davie, chief executive of the Meningitis Now charity, said: “We’re delighted that yet another milestone in the journey to introduce these vaccines and protect our newborn babies and young people from the devastation meningitis causes has been reached – these measures will start to save lives straight away and for years to come.”

Meningitis Research Foundation chief executive Christopher Head added: “We are delighted that MenB is to be introduced as Meningitis Research Foundation has been working for many years on a MenB vaccine supporting vital research into its development and testing, and campaigning for its introduction.

“We are also happy that our Meningococcal Genome Library has played an important part in the decision to introduce a MenACWY vaccine for 17 and 18 year olds.”

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, General Practitioners, Good News, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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