Dad of teenager who died of meningitis backs petition after death of toddler on Valentine’s Day

Meningitis Research Foundation ambassador Ken Robinson.

Meningitis Research Foundation ambassador Ken Robinson.

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A campaigner is today calling on Wearsiders to back an appeal for all children to be vaccinated against deadly meningitis, after the tragic death of a toddler.

Two-year-old Faye Burdett, from Maidstone in Kent, died on Valentine’s Day after fighting the meningitis B infection for 11 days.

Heartbreaking photos of Faye, which her family agreed to release, show her covered in a rash while lying in hospital.

More than 580,500 people have now signed a petition calling for the NHS vaccination programme to be widened to all children. It is the most popular ever on the Government’s website

A vaccine to protect against meningitis B became available on the NHS for babies in September, but parents who want to have older children vaccinated must pay privately.

Ken Robinson, whose son Glenn died aged just 16 in 1997, from the meningococcal septicaemia strain of the disease, said he wants all vaccines to be available on the NHS as soon as possible.

Ken, 71, of Newbottle, who has raised more than £80,000 towards research into the illness, said: “At the moment any children older than a year their parents will have to pay for the vaccination, but I know that not everywhere has the stocks.

“I’m sure all people will want to support the petition so that all children can get the vaccines they need on the NHS.

“This needs action right now.”

To sign the petition, which the Meningitis Research Foundation has given its backing to, go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/108072.