Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Meningitis B Vaccination - Who Should Pay?

In the news this week has been the devastating story of Faye Burdett, a toddler who died from sepsis caused by meningitis. The family had the most awful choice. Major surgery, involving multiple amputations, that had a really high risk of killing their 2 year old or allow her to pass away peacefully. They chose the second option. I do not know what I would choose and I hope I never have to.

What is really tragic is that this illness can be vaccinated against. The vaccine is safe and gives 90% immunity. So why didn't they get their precious baby vaccinated? Were they one of the parents that do not agree with vaccinations? No, this vaccine is only available on the NHS to babies born after 1st July 2015. 

Their baby was too old.

Faye was two years old.

My grandson is too old. 

He's 16 months old and too old for this government to protect him from this awful disease. He was born 10 months to soon. If he has any siblings or cousins they will be protected. They will be born after July 2015.

So should I pay to have him protected? 

The meningitis B vaccine is available privately and it would take (depending on age) about three doses. The cost to the NHS is £75 + vat. To you and me it would cost a minimum of £125+ for each dose. That's £375 for the full vaccination. Is my grandson worth it? Absolutely! He's worth his weight in gold. Should I pay for it? 

What about all the children that have no-one that can pay for it? Should they be disadvantaged? Children under five, teenagers and young people are most at risk. They should all be vaccinated on the NHS.

Parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles, friends should never have to experience this. It is preventable and that is what the NHS should be doing, preventing illness. If Faye had survived she would have been seriously handicapped, not just physically but possibly mentally too. This disease is of the membranes around the brain, there is a very high risk of damage to the brain. 

The effects of meningitis cost the nation vast amount of money and heartache. It is preventable. Young people are the major transmitters of this disease. University's are the ideal environment for transfer from one individual to another. It is thought that vaccinating young people would drastically reduce the risk of contracting meningitis.

The Government must give the NHS funding to roll this out to all children as soon as possible. There is a petition to ask the government to fund this here. I've signed it.

Most of my facts were found on this excellent website. 

Should we pay to protect our children? Have you paid to have your child/grandchild vaccinated? 



  1. I can't understand why all children regardless of their age aren't able to have this vaccination on the NHS. Not everyone can afford £375 and surely the medical price of looking after a sick child is far more than the price to vaccinate a child. It just doesn't make sense to me.

    I hope the law changes, so that no more families have to suffer the loss of a child. It's a crazy world we live in.


    1. It's such a shame that the NHS isn't funded to prevent illness. Unfortunately my daughter in law tells me in Cardiff (where we live) the cost is £550 for the course. Too much for most people to pay.


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