Babies put at severe risk by NHS Vaccine Delays

2 March 2015

Babies put at severe risk by NHS Vaccine Delays

Babies put at severe risk by NHS Vaccine Delays

A campaign group warns that one child a month is dying in the UK because of "lethargic bureaucracy" in providing the meningitis B vaccine.

The campaign group Meningitis Now says a delay in offering immunisation vaccination to every baby on the NHS is putting their lives directly at risk. The delays come amidst the fact that the vaccination was given its EU licence two years ago in 2013 but because of “lethargic bureaucracy” UK children under the age of one are having their lives put at risk.

'Too many of our children are needlessly dying"

The campaign group has obtained figures which suggest 24 UK children under the age of one could have died from the disease since the approval of the vaccine. Since 2013, when the vaccine was approved, there have been 1,130 cases of infection.

Meningitis Now founder Steve Dayman said: "Too many of our children are needlessly dying or left disabled due to lethargic bureaucracy."

Caroline Williams, from South East Wales, lost her one-year-old son Caden to meningitis B. He died a year after the immunisation had received EU approval.

Ms Williams spoke to Sky News and said that the Government was risking other children's lives by not ensuring the jab was added to the NHS baby immunisation programme.

"They're putting a price on children's lives"

She said: "The amount of children that could be saved with this vaccine is unbelievable. I know meningitis doesn't just affect babies but it could be saving children's lives and they're still negotiating over price, they're putting a price on children's lives."

The meningitis B vaccine is available on the NHS for groups of babies at increased risk of invasive meningococcal infection. This could include children without a spleen. The vaccine can be bought privately.

In a statement, a Department of Health spokesperson said: "We are very clear that we want to see this vaccine introduced as soon as possible to help protect children from this devastating disease.

"The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended that a MenB vaccine be introduced, but only at a cost-effective price - below the price published by Novartis.

"We need to make sure NHS funds are used effectively and negotiations are continuing."

Patient Care Options

Have you or a loved one wanted to raise a complaint with the NHS  regarding medical mistreatment relating to the care of your child or medical mistreatment that has been experienced at a NHS hospital or even at a private hospital? Our specialist teams can provide FREE advice about what your options are, whether you want to make a medical negligence claim or medical mistreatment complaint or simply to better understand what your patient rights. You can contact us here today for  a no-obligation and completely free conversation to discuss what happened to you.