Vaccination against one of the most deadly strains of meningitis could be available to UK children in just a few months
A vaccine against a deadly strain of meningitis has been created and could be available in the UK as early as Christmas, if it is approved by the European Medicines Agency.
Meningitis B is one of the most lethal forms of the disease. It can be difficult to diagnose and sufferers deteriorate fast. Until now there has not been a vaccine for the B strain of the disease, while vaccines for other strains are routinely given to babies and children.
More than 1,200 cases are diagnosed in the UK each year, causing the deaths of 120 people, half of whom are under 5. Of those who survive, many are left with serious complications such as blindness, deafness and brain damage.
“The results are exciting and a very positive step in the fight to eradicate meningitis B, which is the biggest killer of all types of meningitis in the UK,” said Steve Dayman, from the Meningitis UK charity.
The vaccine had a success rate of around 80% in trials, however, so experts warn that parents should still keep an eye out for meningitis symptoms and get any unexplained rashes checked out.
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