Research by the Oxford Vaccine Group at Oxford University has found that many British children may not be protected against meningitis C, despite the current vaccine in the Childhood Immunisation Programme.
The study found that three out of four British children have no personal protection against meningitis C, despite the vaccine being introduced into the UK immunisation programme back in 1999.
National charity and the leading voice on the impact of meningitis, the Meningitis Trust, is concerned to learn the findings of this study, as it sees first-hand the trauma and devastation that meningitis can cause.
The charity played a key role in getting the meningitis C vaccine introduced across the UK at the end of the 1990s and firmly believes in its ability to reduce the risk of meningitis C. This belief was supported by a government immunisation report in 2008, which found that there were no deaths in 2007 from meningitis C. However, the new research by Oxford University raises significant concerns.
Sue Davie, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Trust says; "Vaccination is the only way to prevent meningitis and save lives. We support the use of safe and effective vaccines and encourage people to receive the vaccines that are currently available.
"If, as a result of this research, a booster programme is introduced, we would actively encourage the introduction of this. Every day we hear how people's lives have been changed forever after contracting meningitis, so anything that may prevent this suffering would have our backing."
The Trust aims to keep the disease high on the agenda of health professionals and at the forefront of public awareness, to ensure prompt, life saving action is taken and proper care is available to all affected.