Closed petition Give the Meningitis B vaccine to ALL children, not just newborn babies.

All children are at risk from this terrible infection, yet the Government plan to only vaccinate 2-5 month olds. There needs to be a rollout programme to vaccinate all children, at least up to age 11. Meningococcal infections can be very serious, causing MENINGITIS, SEPTICAEMIA & DEATH.

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NHS.UK

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

823,348 signatures

100,000

Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 25 April 2016

Pc ben howlett petitions webpage

Watch the debateRead the transcript

Government responded

MenB vaccine is offered to infants, free on the NHS, at 2 months with further doses at 4 and 12 months. The programme, as advised by independent experts, offers protection to those at highest risk.

Read the response in full

As the UK, we are proud to have been the first– and to date the only - country in the world to introduce a national, publicly-funded MenB immunisation programme for infants using the Bexsero vaccine. We are leading the world in offering children protection from this devastating disease.

National immunisation programmes are introduced on the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the independent expert body that advises the Government on all immunisation matters. https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/joint-committee-on-vaccination-and-immunisation

JCVI reviewed all available evidence before it advised on eligibility for the Bexsero vaccine. It recommended that MenB immunisation should be routinely offered to the group of children at the highest risk - infants at two months of age with a further dose at four months and a booster at 12 months, provided that the vaccine could be procured at a cost-effective price. There is a duty on the Secretary of State for Health to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the recommendations of the JCVI, are implemented.

The programme started on 1st September 2015 for those babies due to receive their primary immunisations starting at 2 months of age on or after 1 September 2015 (i.e. those born on or after 1 July 2015). A one off catch-up programme was recommended by JCVI for infants born from 1 May 2015 to 30 June 2015 (aged 3 or 4 months of age when the programme launched) when they attended for their primary immunisation appointments. This ensured that those infants were offered the vaccine before the winter peak of the disease. By May 2017, all children under the age of two years will have been offered the vaccine. The vaccine is also available for a small number of older children and adults who are at increased risk of infection, such as those with no spleen. Early indications are that the vaccine has been very well accepted by parents and coverage is likely to be high.

With this programme, our priority is to protect those children most at risk of MenB, in line with JCVI’s recommendation. The NHS budget is a finite resource. It is therefore essential that JCVI’s recommendations are underpinned by evidence of cost-effectiveness. Offering the vaccine outside of JCVI’s advice would not be cost effective, and would not therefore represent a good use of NHS resources which should be used to benefit the health and care of the most people possible.

When any new immunisation programme is introduced, there has to be a cut-off date to determine eligibility. While this is extremely difficult for parents whose children aren’t eligible there is no other way of establishing new programmes to target those at highest risk without introducing inequalities. This approach is supported by the best evidence and by independent recommendations. JCVI considered older age groups (1-4 year olds) but did not advise a catch-up programme in view of the marginal cost-effectiveness of even the infant programme. JCVI considered that the priority should be the implementation of the primary immunisation programme for infants. They also considered a programme for adolescents but advised that further research was needed Preparatory research has been commissioned and is underway.

There are many bacterial, viral and other causes of meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and surrounding tissues) and septicaemia (blood poisoning). Successful vaccination programmes have already reduced the risk of these serious diseases. Current rates of group B meningococcal disease are low. In the early 2000s there were more than 1,600 cases in England, compared to around 400 cases in 2014.

The vaccine should provide direct protection against MenB for infants and those who are at increased risk of meningococcal disease. However, not all strains of the group B meningococcal bacteria are covered by this vaccine and cases can still occur in vaccinated infants and children. There are also other strains of meningococcal disease for which there is currently no vaccine. It therefore remains important for parents to be alert to the symptoms of meningococcal disease such as fever, blotchy skin, refusal to feed, irritability, cold hands and feet, rash, muscle pain, and a stiff body with jerky movements or else floppy and lifeless. They should trust their instincts and seek urgent medical attention if they have concerns.

Department of Health

Other parliamentary business

Meningitis B vaccine debate summary

On 25 April the House of Commons debated the meningitis B vaccine petition. This email is to give you an update on the debate and what will happen next.

You can watch the debate here: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/184bc220-e082-4f5f-9ffa-35d817220b83

You can read the transcript here: https://hansard.digiminster.com/commons/2016-04-25/debates/16042524000001/MeningitisBVaccine

During the debate Health Minister, Jane Ellison MP, announced that - based on the evidence and advice that has been received - the Government cannot support extending the meningitis B vaccination programme to older children. But that doesn't mean that the Government and Parliament won't continue to look into this issue.

The Government has set up a working group to look at how decisions about the cost-effectiveness of vaccines are made. The Minister said that the Government would publish the report of this group when it is ready later this year. She also promised to give a written briefing summarising the report and the Government’s proposed next steps. When this happens, we'll email you to let you know where you can read it.

The Minister also confirmed that a preliminary study of the meningococcal strains carried by teenagers is now under way and will report in February 2017.

During the debate, she also announced that she has asked Public Health England to develop a national awareness campaign that will focus on the dangerous infections that parents worry about the most, including meningitis, septicaemia and sepsis. The campaign will focus on the symptoms that parents need to look out for.

In his closing remarks Ben Howlett MP, the member of the Petition Committee who led the debate, said:

“…I lend my thanks to the petitioners, the families, the charities and all those who gave evidence to the joint Health Committee and Petitions Committee sittings for their time, their passion, their work around our country and their fundraising for little children, including little girls like Harmonie-Rose in my constituency and many thousands of others in the rest of the UK.

I was pleased to hear about the public awareness campaign that the Minister announced…[and]…the Minister’s wish to report back to the Petitions Committee and the Health Committee on the reports (on the cost-effectiveness methodology for immunisation) that will be produced later in the summer. I look forward to seeing what reforms…will be discussed.

…This is not the end of the journey. There is no doubt that this is a long-term conversation that needs to be had. Any life lost is one too many”.
 
There are other ways you can get involved in the work of the UK Parliament.
 
Find out how to contact your MP or a Lord, contribute to a Parliamentary Committee, and search for free Parliament events taking place in your local area here: http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/
 
Find out how you can visit Parliament: http://www.parliament.uk/visiting/
 
You can find out more about the work of the Petitions Committee on its website here: www.parliament.uk/petitions-committee
 
You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @hocpetitions

Parliament debates meningitis B vaccine petition

On Monday 25 April, the House of Commons will debate the meningitis B vaccine. The debate will begin in Westminster Hall at 4.30pm.

You may wish to contact your local MP to tell them why this debate is important to you. You can find out who your local MP is, and their contact details here: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

You can find out more information on contacting your local MP here: http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

The Petitions Committee worked together with the Health Committee and spoke to families and experts during "oral evidence sessions" about the reasons for and against the request of this petition. The evidence collected from these sessions will help inform MPs taking part in the debate.

You can read more about the oral evidence sessions on the meningitis B vaccine here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/petitions-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/meningitis-b-vaccine-inquiry-15-16/

You can watch both of the oral evidence sessions on Parliament TV:

15 March: session with the petition creator and affected families - http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/28c10e2c-f1dd-46bc-a7ce-b7e0fc024246

22 March: session with meningitis charities, experts, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and Public Health England - http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/421b1069-7f2e-49b8-a07f-c52d37f838a1

You will be able to watch the petition debate live on 25 April from 4.30pm on Parliament TV: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Commons

You may also be interested to know that MPs have been signing an Early Day Motion (an expression of support for a particular issue) about the meningitis B vaccine. It refers to this petition and the evidence sessions. You can view the Early Day Motion and see which MPs have signed it on the Parliament website: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2015-16/1356

There are other ways you can get involved in the work of the UK Parliament.

Find out how to contact your MP or a Lord, contribute to a Parliamentary Committee, and search for free Parliament events taking place in your local area here: http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/

Find out how you can visit Parliament: http://www.parliament.uk/visiting/

You can find out more about the work of the Petitions Committee on its website here: www.parliament.uk/petitions-committee

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @HoCpetitions
You can follow the Health Committee on Twitter: @CommonsHealth

MPs to hear from families and experts on the Meningitis B Vaccination as a result of the petition

As a result of this petition, the House of Commons Petitions Committee, working jointly with the Health Committee, is holding two evidence sessions on the meningitis B vaccine on Tuesday 15 March and Tuesday 22 March.

The evidence sessions will be available to view live here: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/28c10e2c-f1dd-46bc-a7ce-b7e0fc024246

The Committee will hear from the following witnesses on Tuesday 15 March from 2.20pm:

• Lee Booth (petition creator)
• Jenny and Neil Burdett
• Claire Timmins and Linda Parkes
• Matt Dawson

The Committee will hear from the following witnesses on Tuesday 22 March from 2.20pm:

• Meningitis Now
• Meningitis Research Foundation
• Professor Andrew Pollard, Chair, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation

Further witnesses for the final session will be announced shortly.

The Petitions Committee has agreed to schedule a debate on this petition in Parliament after the evidence sessions have taken place. The date will be announced by the Committee in due course.

You can find out more about the work of the Petitions Committee on its website here: www.parliament.uk/petitions-committee

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @HoCpetitions
You can follow the Health Committee on Twitter: @CommonsHealth

MPs to hear from families and experts before debating petition in Parliament

The Petitions Committee has agreed to schedule a debate on this petition.

Before setting a date for the debate, the Committee would like the House of Commons to have the chance to hear from some of the families who have been affected by meningitis B as well as from relevant medical experts. This will help to inform MPs taking part in the House of Commons debate.

More details about this will be announced in due course. We will keep you informed about what is happening and how you can get involved.

MPs to hear from experts on on the meningitis B vaccine

As a result of this petition, on Tuesday 22 March the House of Commons Petitions Committee, working jointly with the Health Committee, is holding the second of two evidence sessions on the meningitis B vaccine.

The Committee will hear from the following witnesses on Tuesday 22 March from 2.15pm:

Panel 1:

• Sue Davie, CEO of Meningitis Now.
• Steve Drayman, Executive Founder of Meningitis Now.
• Vinny Smith, CEO of the Meningitis Research Foundation.
• Linda Glennie, Head of Research and Medical Information (MRF).

Panel 2:

• Dr Simon Nadel, Consultant in Paediatric Intensive Care at St Mary's and Imperial College London.
• Dr Helen Bedford, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Child Health, University College London.
• Professor Simon Kroll, (Professor of Paediatrics, Imperial College London.

Panel 3:

• Professor Andrew Pollard, Chair, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
• Dr Andrew Riordan, Chair, JCVI meningococcal sub-committee. Consultant in Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust.
• Dr Mary Ramsay, Consultant Epidemiologist and Head, Immunisation, Hepatitis & Blood Safety Department, Public Health England.
• Professor John Cairns, (Professor of Health Economics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

The Petitions Committee has agreed to schedule a debate on this petition in Parliament after the evidence sessions have taken place. The date will be announced by the Committee in due course.

The evidence sessions will be available to view live here: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/421b1069-7f2e-49b8-a07f-c52d37f838a1

You can read the transcript of the evidence session here:
http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/petitions-committee/petition-on-the-meningitis-b-vaccine/oral/31016.pdf

On Tuesday 15 March, at its first evidence session, the Committee heard from:
• Lee Booth (petition creator)
• Jenny and Neil Burdett
• Claire Timmins and Linda Parkes
• Matt Dawson

You can watch the evidence session here:
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/28c10e2c-f1dd-46bc-a7ce-b7e0fc024246

You can read the transcript of the evidence session here: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/petitions-committee/petition-on-the-meningitis-b-vaccine/oral/30585.pdf

Helen Jones MP, Chair of the Petitions Committee, said: “The number of signatures that this petition has received is a clear sign that the public wants to see further investigation of the meningitis B vaccine, and whether it should be given to more children. Both the Petitions Committee and the Health Committee were privileged today to hear very moving evidence from families who have direct experience of the terrible disease. We will use these vital testimonies to inform our next evidence session with charities, medical experts and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. The evidence we hear will then inform the debate in Parliament.”
 
Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health Committee, said: “The families we heard from have achieved more through their brave and moving testimonies than any Government-led programme or leafleting campaign to save lives and raise awareness. We will also have an opportunity to question the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, and the Head of the Immunisation, Hepatitis and Blood Safety Department, Public Health England when they give their evidence next week.”

You can find out more about the work of the Petitions Committee on its website here: www.parliament.uk/petitions-committee

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @HoCpetitions

You can follow the Health Committee on Twitter: @CommonsHealth