Two of the UK’s leading meningitis charities have come together to celebrate the launch of a new vaccine to help protect against pneumococcal meningitis.
The Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK have welcomed the new vaccine, which all children will be offered through the Childhood Immunisation Programme in the UK from April 1.
The vaccine will offer better protection against pneumococcal meningitis than is currently available; helping to lower the number of cases and in turn the number of deaths and after-effects as a result of the disease.
The new vaccine will protect against six strains in addition to the seven strains that are in the current pneumococcal vaccine. This development will mean fewer people having to face the life-changing trauma of meningitis.
Vaccination is the only way to protect against meningitis and uptake of vaccines is extremely important. In the absence of a vaccine to protect against all strains of the disease, being vigilant of the signs and symptoms of meningitis and trusting your instincts at all times, is vital.
Sue Davie, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Trust says; “At the Trust we see first-hand the trauma and devastation that the disease can cause and with meningitis killing more children under five than any other infectious disease in the UK, introducing this improved vaccine into the Childhood Immunisation Programme is a very positive step forward.
"Every day we see and hear how people's lives have been changed forever after contracting meningitis, so anything that may prevent this suffering is supported by us”.