Liberal Democrat MP for Bradford, David Ward is backing a charity’s call to end delays and introduce a vaccine to protect babies against Meningitis B as soon as possible.
David Ward recently attended an event with leading charity Meningitis Now, to discuss the impact meningitis has in the UK and meet families affected by the disease.
The UK has one of the world’s highest Meningitis B rates and it kills more of the country’s under-fives than any other infectious disease.
Meningitis Now said there have been 1,000 cases of meningococcal group B disease (Meningitis B) since the new vaccine Bexsero received its licence in January 2013 – yet the vaccine still hasn’t been given to babies.
Of these cases, around 400 people will have died or suffered disabilities, which cost the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds over a lifetime.
Back in March, the Government said the vaccine would be given free to babies up to age one on the NHS, subject to price negotiations with developer Novartis.
Now David Ward MP is backing the call to finish negotiations and get the vaccine implemented.
Commenting David Ward MP said:
“It’s very frustrating to know that we have a vaccine for Meningitis B that works but it’s not being given to babies because they are haggling over the price.
“This is simply not acceptable and should not continue.
“I’ll be contacting the Department of Health to make them aware of my very strong views on this important issue in order to get them to sort this situation out quickly so that more children do not die unnecessarily.”
Founder of Meningitis Now Steve Dayman MBE, who launched the UK’s meningitis movement after losing his baby son Spencer to the disease in 1982, believes “enough is enough”.
Steve, who won a Pride of Britain Award for his 32-year crusade, earlier this month, said:
“Negotiations have gone on too long – cut the red tape now, so no more lives are needlessly lost.
“It’s ridiculous that talks are still going on 8 months after we were told the vaccine will be on the NHS.
“The award-winning vaccine is the most monumental leap forward in the meningitis fight – the time is now to bring in this vaccine.”
The UK’s largest meningitis charity launched Beat it Now! to unite supporters to call for the vaccine.
The campaign, which saw a 36,500-name petition delivered to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, now focuses on speeding up negotiations.
To join Beat it Now! or for more information visit www.MeningitisNow.org.
You can also contact Meningitis Now on 01453 768000 or email@example.com