A FATHER who lost his son to meningitis has hit out at the Government for not introducing a life-saving vaccine on the NHS almost a year after it was deemed safe to use.
Meningitis B has for decades been the single largest cause of meningitis in the UK.
Young children and adolescents are most at risk and it leads to death in 10 per cent of all cases and to long-term after effects in a further 36 per cent.
A vaccine against MenB was recommended by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in March 2014 to be routinely given to children in the UK.
However almost a year on there are no signs that the vaccine will become part of childhood immunisation programme anytime soon.
This was after the maker of the vaccine and the Government failed to agree a price for its use.
Ken Robinson, whose son Glenn died at the age of just 16 after contracting the meningococcal septicaemia strain of the illness in 1997, today called on the Government to approve the vaccine for use on the NHS and save lives.
Ken, who has himself raised £80,000 towards meningitis research since Glenn’s death, is asking those who share his view to sign the Meningitis Research Foundation’s (MRN) online #WheresOurVaccine petition at www.meningitis.org/wheres-our-vaccine.
Ken, of Newbottle, in Houghton, who has also written to his MP Bridget Phillipson for support in the campaign, told the Echo: “It’s absolutely ridiculous that this hasn’t been implemented a year on.
“You can’t put a price on a kid’s life.
It’s absolutely ridiculous that this hasn’t been implemented a year on. You can’t put a price on a kid’s life.Meningitis vaccine campaigner Ken Robinson
“This vaccine is given to kids from two months to 12 months and if Glenn had been given it when he was that age then he could be here today.”
Chris Head, chief executive of the MRN, said: “We appreciate that the JCVI stated that the vaccine recommendation was subject to a cost-effective price being agreed between the vaccine manufacturer and the DH, but these price negotiations have been ongoing since July 2014 and have stalled.
“The cost effective price range for this vaccine was published in October last year with an upper limit only just over £20 - a substantial saving on the official NHS list price of £75.
“As both the manufacturer and the Government are negotiating within this cost effective range, we cannot see why an accommodation cannot be reached.”