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Meningitis vaccine take-up urged

A charity has warned parents to ensure their children are protected against all strains of meningitis.

The warning comes after Meningitis UK commissioned a poll this month, as February usually sees an increase in the number of cases of the disease.

Some 51% of parents polled by the charity thought their child had been vaccinated against all strains, while a further 24% were unsure.

There is no vaccine against meningitis B - the most common and deadly form of the disease - although jabs do protect against the other frequently seen strains Hib, meningitis C and pneumococcal meningitis.

It found that 62% of 1,000 people questioned were unaware that there is no vaccine for meningitis B.

The charity's chief executive, Steve Dayman, said: "If a parent wrongly believes their child is protected, they could become complacent and not react quickly enough when the early signs of the disease are developing.

"A delay in seeking treatment could be fatal because meningitis can kill in under four hours.

"These results have made us even more determined to find a vaccine to eradicate all forms of meningitis and protect future generations."

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Meningitis UK