Closed petition Layla's Law Vaccinate all UK children against Meningitis B strain (MenB).

Layla Rose Ermenekli, died of Meningitis B on the 4th Feb 17. Had Parliament made the Vaccination available to all children on 01 Sept 15 and not just new born babies, Layla Rose would be alive today. In addition the report into Layla's death shows medical professionals missed opportunities.

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A doctor dismissed a rash as a bruise. Due to the rapid onset of Death or at best, life long debilitating disabilities, we cannot take such high risks with Children's life's. Meningitis Now the charity and medical professionals and MPs agree all children should be vaccinated. 3,200 contract this disease each year and 10% die.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 23 October 2017

The UK became the first country to have a national publicly-funded infant MenB vaccination programme using the vaccine Bexsero®. Based on expert advice, it offers protection to those at highest risk.

Read the response in full

Vaccination saves lives – it prevents disease, disability and death. It is a vital way to protect children (and others) against a range of serious diseases and we strongly encourage families to take up vaccinations when offered.

All our vaccination programmes are based on expert review of the evidence from the Joint Committee on Vaccination & Immunisation (JCVI) – it bases its recommendations on a comprehensive review of a wide range of scientific and other evidence, including from the published literature, and commissioned studies such as independent analyses of vaccine effectiveness and cost effectiveness.

Men B is a terrible disease and the Department would like to extend its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Layla Rose Ermenekli. However, the UK MenB vaccination programme is based on the advice of the JCVI. The JCVI recommended that MenB immunisation should be routinely offered to the group of children at the highest risk, and reviewed all available evidence in determining their advice.

Their advice is summarised in the following statement:

Following JCVI’s recommendation, the UK is proud to have been the first country to introduce a national, publically funded MenB immunisation programme for infants using the Bexsero® vaccine. Since September 2015, all infants aged two months have been offered the MenB vaccine, followed by a second dose at four months and a booster at 12 months. Since May 2017, all children under two have become eligible for vaccination. The vaccine is also available to a small number of older children and adults who are at an increased risk of infection, such as those with specific underlying medical conditions.

The JCVI keeps the eligibility criteria of all vaccination programmes under review and considers new evidence as it emerges. The JCVI has considered older age groups (1-4 year olds) but did not advise a catch up programme. The JCVI have also requested further research to reduce uncertainty and give a greater level of confidence on whether a vaccination programme for adolescents would be cost effective. Specifically, the JCVI have requested a study of the effect of MenB vaccination on the carriage of meningococcal strains in adolescents. An open competition process has been carried out, and completed, to commission this work, which the selected research team could potentially begin by the end of 2017.

MenB is, thankfully, very rare and incidence has been declining since 2000/2001. There were about 1,600 cases of MenB in 2000/01 compared to 444 MenB cases in 2015/16 and the vaccine protects against the majority of MenB strains for infants and those who are at risk of meningococcal disease.

There are, however, strains of group B meningococcal bacteria which are not covered by the vaccine and cases can still occur in vaccinated infants and children. It is therefore very 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. Parents should trust their instincts and seek urgent medical attention if they have concerns. Further information is available publically on the NHS choices website;

Public Health England (PHE) has been collaborating with charities about how best to help parents understand the signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia. This includes providing funding to the charities to deliver a package of activities, including distributing materials to highlight the most common signs of meningitis in babies and toddlers and digital promotion of a ‘Meningitis Signs and Symptoms’ app to educate parents.

Department of Health

Other parliamentary business

Petitions Committee demands answers from Health Minister over delayed vaccines report

On Wednesday 27 February, the Petitions Committee questioned the Health Minister, Steve Brine, about delays to the publication of the Government’s report on how the Government decides whether a vaccine is cost-effective.

You can find out more here:

The report, which was due to be published in 2016, was finally published yesterday following continued pressure from the Petitions and Health Committees.

Watch the Minister and officials give evidence here:

Petitions Committee Chair, Helen Jones MP, said about the Minister’s answers:

“The Minister failed to justify why it took so long to publish the report and commit to a consultation, and why the report was published less than 24 hours before the Committee questioned the Minister. We are pleased that the Minister has agreed to look again at what more can be done to engage with people affected by meningitis.

The Minister confirmed that pressure from our Committee and petitioners has pushed the Government in the right direction, but the long delay suggests that the Government needs to take the concerns of petitioners more seriously more quickly.

We’ve heard serious concerns from charities about the technical model the Government is using to decide which vaccines are cost-effective. The Government must listen carefully to experts in the sector before making any decisions on something so important.

We will continue to fight to make sure that petitioners’ voices are heard and that the Government is held to account. Vaccines save children’s lives, and the Government must not simply kick decisions into the long-grass.”

Because the consultation is very technical, the Committee asked the Minister to do more to engage with people who are concerned about vaccines. The Minister agreed that he would. We’ll let you know when that happens.

You can respond to the technical consultation here:

You will be able to read the transcript here by Friday 27 February:

Read about the Petitions and Health Committees’ inquiry into this issue: 2015/meningitis-b-vaccine-inquiry-15-16/

Read the recent letters to the Department for Health about report:

MPs to question Minister about Government’s failure to publish key report about vaccines

The Petitions Committee has called in the Health Minister to answer questions on the Government’s failure to publish a key report about vaccines. This is the direct result of people petitioning about the Meningitis B vaccine.

The Committee will question the Minister at 2.15 pm on Tuesday 27 February. The session will be open to the public and you can watch live on

The Committee will hear from:

• Steve Brine MP, Health Minister
• Chris Mullin, Chief Economist, Department of Health and Social Care, and
• Dr Mary Ramsay, Consultant Epidemiologist and Head of Immunisation, Public Health England

Background to the petitions:

Petitions on the meningitis B vaccine have been signed by more than 840,000 people. In 2016, the Petitions and Health Committees in 2016 heard from families, charities and medical experts. It was clear that there were serious concerns about how the Government decides whether a vaccine is cost-effective.

There was already a Working Group looking at it. That Group is known as “CEMIPP”— “Cost Effectiveness Methodology for Immunisation Programmes and Procurement”. The Committees called on the Government to publish the CEMIPP report and to commit to doing a full public consultation on its recommendations. The Government agreed to publish the report, and said that it hoped to do this before the end of 2016.

Despite repeated requests from MPs, that report has not been published. The Petitions Committee has called in the Minister to explain why.

If you have any queries at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Many thanks,

Petitions Committee staff