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Meningitus B: Does the government think this is an acceptable response to 800k signatures on a petition?

(141 Posts)
MythologicalPersonage Wed 02-Mar-16 06:19:16

ChalkHearts Wed 02-Mar-16 06:33:19

Yes. This is an acceptable answer.

It would be expensive and they can't afford it. Or rather compared to other things the NHS could fund, this is not a good use of the public purse.

Salene Wed 02-Mar-16 06:45:30

It's a shame , that they can use money to sort addiction issues, obesity issues, free healthcare to immigrants etc but can't afford to vaccinate all children . I'd rather the money was spend on the vaccines but it's not our choice. I guess now it falls onto the parents to pay private. I got my son done a year ago because we could afford it, it's sad for those parents who want to do their children but can't afford it. Even if they offered to those on lower incomes maybe or something like that.

MythologicalPersonage Wed 02-Mar-16 06:55:57

I think it is a very unsatisfactory response from the government. I suspect they waited so long to provide a response as they thought that this would all die down in the media by doing so. My son missed out on the vaccine as he was born two months earlier than the cut off. It is very frustrating. He is now on a waiting list to have the vaccine privately. I note that the government has not actually included any costings within their response. Very poor.

PetShopGirl Wed 02-Mar-16 07:09:25

I also think this is an acceptable response. Just because a lot of people want something, it doesn't mean it's the best use of finite resources.

And I say that as someone whose DS missed out by just a couple of months.

OddBoots Wed 02-Mar-16 07:15:40

This is the case for every vaccine, there has to be a targeted population. I want my teenage son to have the HPV vaccine but they target girls and my parents in their 60s to get their shingles vaccine but that is targeted to people in their 70s. The NHS has to make a balanced choice when weighing everything up.

Your ds may not get the vaccine but at least you can get some comfort from the fact that increasing numbers of children he will spend his childhood with will have had the vaccine so the infection will not be as likely within his environment - he is one of the children who will benefit without actually getting the jab.

MythologicalPersonage Wed 02-Mar-16 07:39:44

I think in the current climate it is very easy to be so nonchalant about this decision. With incident rates at all time low it is very easy to think that it will never happen to you or someone that you know. However, if there is an outbreak I think that the government's decision will be viewed very differently.

lougle Wed 02-Mar-16 08:06:30

It is an adequate response. The risk of contracting Meningitis B in the 1-4 age group is 5 in 100,000. With a birth rate of about 600,000 babies per year, there are approximately 2,400,000 1-4 year olds at any one time. 120 of those children will get Meningitis B. 2,399,880 won't.

It isn't a common illness. We shouldn't be worrying about our children getting it - they are far more likely to die from cancer or a road accident or drowning than meningitis B. Some perspective is needed here.

MythologicalPersonage Wed 02-Mar-16 08:12:04

Of those 120 who get meningitis 12 will die. The others may have lifelong conditions such as hearing impairment, learning disabilities and acquired brain injury.

Y0uCann0tBeSer10us Wed 02-Mar-16 08:14:53

Yes, I think this is a sensible response (deferring to the JCVI opinion rather than to popular opinion).

One argument, as they make there, is that there are finite resources and rolling out this vaccine would mean cuts elsewhere. It was only just worth it in monetary terms when it was rolled out for under 1s (and that was after a reassessment - initially that wasn't considered worth it either).

Another argument, which hasn't been made officially, is that the vaccine is still being assessed for effectiveness and safety, and there is no evidence right now that rolling it out to a wider age group would prevent many (or any) cases of Men B. Indeed early data suggest that there hasn't been any decrease in cases in the age group that does get the vaccine - there is certainly no evidence that it works in the field. It could well be the case that, if the Bexsero program were extended, no lives would be saved anyway, but some children would suffer side effects (more severe and frequent with this than other vaccines), and money would have been diverted from other sources.

The point that parents who have had this vaccine must still be aware of Meningitis symptoms, and not assume that their children can't get it (although it is thankfully rare), is also a good one.

A better use of energy and resources would be to do as the MRF suggest and investigate carriage in teenagers. I also hope that better vaccines are in development, perhaps with a chance of wiping out Meningitis completely.

Northernlurker Wed 02-Mar-16 08:20:01

It's very easy to have perspective whilst this is a remote thing that happens to other people. The point about the petition is that it has been fuelled by recent speaking out from parents who did have this happen to them and it's awful.
I think the government should be more creative and look at subsidising this for parents of older dcs who want to pay for it. Like we would if we wanted private orthodontic treatment for example, you'd pay what you need but you'd also get some of the service through the NHS such as extractions etc.

ChubbyPolecat Wed 02-Mar-16 08:21:20

Just because lots of people want the vaccine rollout doesn't mean the government had to do it. Perfectly acceptable response

lougle Wed 02-Mar-16 08:32:22

104 children under 5 each year require hospitalisation for the effects of drowning. Another 13 children die from drowning. Do we ban children from exposure to water?

It is sad. Of course it is. But the NHS has finite funds and it isn't cost effective to vaccinate every child against Meningitis B, especially as the vaccine doesn't cover all strains.

bumbleymummy Wed 02-Mar-16 10:23:53

They're basing their decision on expert advice from the JCVI. If there isn't evidence to support that extending the campaign would be effective then they can't justify spending millions. That money could be spent elsewhere to save lives. I think it makes sense.

ShowMeTheWonder Wed 02-Mar-16 10:27:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sugar21 Wed 02-Mar-16 10:30:57

I bave worked so hard in this my dd died FGS

bumbleymummy Wed 02-Mar-16 10:36:29

ShowMe, GSK are hoping to have the supply issue sorted by the summer. Cases of meningitis tend to peak during the winter months.

Y0uCann0tBeSer10us Wed 02-Mar-16 10:45:23

Sugar, you have already achieved so much in raising awareness of the symptoms of Meningitis, from all strains not just the ones covered by Bexsero (assuming it works for these). You will have saved lives just with that and should be very proud.

The MRF will continue to push for research that will aim to stamp out Meningitis completely. Any campaigning on their behalf will help with this cause.


1234Littleham Wed 02-Mar-16 11:03:03

This is NOT an acceptable response. A huge number of people signed this petition whether you agree with it or not. The debate should have happened BEFORE any response.

sugar21 Wed 02-Mar-16 11:13:32

I hope nobody else has to watch their toddler die

Grrrrrrrrrrr I am so cross headline news on bbc.

How can these mps justify all their perks.

Exdh is going to explode he's steaming bloody mad !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sugar21 Wed 02-Mar-16 12:02:37

peggyundercrackers Wed 02-Mar-16 12:21:15

agree with the others who say this is an acceptable response from the govt.

sugar I can understand your anger and frustration at this.

sugar21 Wed 02-Mar-16 12:30:20

It is only an acceptable response if its someone elses child who dies

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Wed 02-Mar-16 12:32:48

Decisions using public money need to be for the overall good of the public, benefiting the greatest number to the greatest extent. If this vaccine was funded for all children, where would the money come from? Perhaps another health intervention that is less emotive but actually saves more lives. Sadly we can't pay for everything from the public purse.

The supply issues are due to the company GSK and the unexpected public demand- nothing to do with the government.

It would be helpful if the private vaccine was available more cheaply though. I understand it costs 75 per dose cost price, but around 130 at a private clinic. My daughter was having her standard nhs vaccinations anyway, it would have been helpful to have paid the cost price for Men B and the practice nurse give it at the same time, given she was under 1 (so in the highest risk group, just born too early to qualify for nhs).

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Wed 02-Mar-16 12:34:30

Sugar I'm so sorry for your loss

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