Dad appeals for meningitis vaccine rethink

Ken Robinson
Ken Robinson
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A DAD is renewing calls for the approval of a drug for use by the NHS to combat deadly meningitis.

Meningitis Research Foundation says the Government is in danger of failing millions of families for decades to come if it does not implement a vaccine.

In January, the European Commission licensed Bexsero for use, although individual countries can decide whether to use it.

In its draft minutes, published in July, the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) cited cost effectiveness and a drop in cases as reasons not to approve it for public health use in the UK.

But campaigners say basing the decision on the decline in cases of Meningitis B is short-sighted, as the disease has natural peaks and troughs, and continues to fluctuate unchecked.

Ken Robinson, whose son Glenn died after contracting the meningococcal septicaemia strain of the disease aged just 16, is calling on the panel to approve the drug at the next opportunity.

Ken, 68, of Newbottle, in Houghton, an ambassador for the foundation, said: “Over the last 17 years, there has been almost £20million spent on research into this, so what is the point in spending that money and then not being able to use the vaccine because the Government doesn’t approve it? It just seems ludicrous to me.”

The JCVI are expected to meet later this year when the decision could be reviewed.