Meningitis B vaccine rejected in UK

Tags: Children

A vaccine to protect children against meningitis B has been rejected for use in the UK.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation  (JCVI) said there was not enough evidence that the Bexsero vaccine was efficient or cost-effective.
Immunisation experts on the JCVI panel advise the Government on which vaccines should be used in the UK.

In a draft statement they said Bexsero, which was licensed by the European Medicines Agency earlier this year, should not be rolled out because there is "insufficient" evidence available to support it. They also said the vaccine was "highly unlikely" to be cost-effective.

Meningitis B is a potentially deadly form of the disease. The latest decision was criticised by meningitis campaigners, who say the vaccine could protect against 73% of meningitis B cases.

Sue Davie, chief executive of the Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK, said the news was "extremely disappointing" for the charity and its supporters.

She added: "We understand the committee's concerns about impact and cost, but we believe this vaccine is safe and we know it will save lives. The more we delay, the more lives are being lost."

Copyright Press Association 2013


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