Few will have missed the enormous support shown for the recent meningitis petition in the UK. Following the tragic story of Faye Burdett, who sadly lost her life to meningococcal B at just two years of age, the petition was signed by hundreds of thousands all over the UK.
The petition called for Bexsero, a meningococcal B vaccine, to be made available on the National Health Service (NHS) to all children of 11 years and under. Currently it is only available to babies born after May 2015, after its introduction into the National Immunisation Schedule in September of last year.
The petition had been running since last year, originally set up by Lee Booth, following his daughter being denied the vaccine, at then six months, due to her age. It had attracted hundreds of signatures but when Faye’s parents decided to share the harrowing photos of their daughter before and after contracting the deadly disease, the outpouring of support from people all over the world was staggering.
Since the story was shared there have been hundreds of thousands of signatures added to the petition. The number today stands at a huge 807,598. Not only does this mean that the UK government will debate the issue in parliament, it also means it has broken the record for the largest number of signatures on any petition on the government’s website. A date for the parliamentary debate will be confirmed next week.
UK based CoMO members, Meningitis Research Foundation and Meningitis Now have both commented on the petition:
MRF calls for effective protection for everyone from MenB, Meningitis Research Foundation: http://www.meningitis.org/news-media/mrf-calls-for-effective-109939
Faye's story, Meningitis Now: https://www.meningitisnow.org/support-us/news-centre/news-stories/fayes-story/
There is hope that this sudden increased awareness of the dangers of meningitis will mean other countries will begin introducing the vaccine into their National Immunisation Programmes. Already there has been progress made with Spain now having the vaccines available to buy in local pharmacies and a higher level of recommendation in the USA being implemented in June of last year.
We will continue to support our members with their campaigns, in the hope that one day these life-saving vaccines will be made available to all.
For more information please contact:
Samantha Rosoman, Admin and Marketing Officer