Warning Over Meningitis Protection

13 May 2010, 05:00

New research has warned as many as three out of four children in the UK aren't protected against meningitis C.

The figures come from the Oxford Vaccine Group at Oxford University, and have been highlighted by the Meningitis Trust.

They say the figures are particularly worrying because the vaccine against the disease was introduced into the UK immunisation programme back in 1999.

Now a mother from Kempston is campaigning to get more parents to make sure their children are vaccinated.  Jacquie Webb whose daughter Charlie was born with the disease said: "There was an infection when I was pregnant and she was diagnosed at 7 days old as having meningitis.  After two weeks of antibiotics she was given the all clear.  But then at seven weeks old she caught it again, and basically she's now got a lot of long-term illnesses.

"We spent two months in hospital which uprooted all the others from school and nursery.  Daily life is very difficult.  Simple things, like she can't be around magnets because she has a shunt fitted."

You can listen to our full interview with Jacquie by clicking here...

Sue Davie, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Trust said: "Vaccination is the only way to prevent meningitis and save lives. We support the use of safe and effective vaccines and encourage people to receive the vaccines that are currently available. If, as a result of this research, a booster programme is introduced, we would actively encourage the introduction of this. Every day we hear how people's lives have been changed forever after contracting meningitis, so anything that may prevent this suffering would have our backing.

"Vaccination is the only way to protect against meningitis and uptake of vaccines is extremely important. In the absence of a vaccine to protect against all strains of the disease, being vigilant of the signs and symptoms of meningitis and trusting your instincts at all times, is vital".