We have been asked to participate in a trial of a new meningitis B vaccine by our local hospital: St George's, Wandsworth. This would take the form of our son being given a "6 in 1" vaccine at 8 weeks rather than the regular "5 in 1".
The vaccine has already been administered to 392 "adults and children" (no breakdown given) as a single vaccine, with virtually no side effects. This trial is to check the safety and efficacy of the vaccine when given in concert with the other childhood vaccines.
Clearly I am reluctant to use my son as a guinea pig. On the other hand, vaccines do have to be tested and someone has to be prepared to take the (v small) risk. In addition, anyone taking part in the study would get regular check ups from a senior paediatrician which is a benefit in itself. Obviously another small upside is that, assuming one is allocated to the vaccine group (rather than the control group), my son may get protection from a dangerous strain of meningitis.
I would very much appreciate others' views on this, especially anyone with professional knowledge about the risks.
My son was one of the 392 and he had no side effects from the 6 in 1. He also received Men B vax + OMV (it's a specific trial vax).
On the plus side you get the jabs at home and you have someone there to watch for reactions plus access to peds 24/7.
We did the same with DD and she had the earlier first stage trial. She had a reaction to 5 in 1 (but she would have had that anyway because it was the same vax so I was glad it happened with a doctor there rather than on the way home from the nurse at the GP surgery). The reaction was mild (she screamed for an hour and needed Calpol.)
It's up to you obviously but so long as you read through and understand the trial you are actually probably at no more risk than through routine vax.
Men B is far more common in teenagers, & early twenties. More sensible to vaccinate much later on, IMHO, not the very young babies, as the imminity (if there is indeed any...) would be given in the danger years.
I replied to this in the AIBU section - definitely wouldn't let my children be used for medical trials. Not convinced that it is 'safe' based on such a small number in the initial trial. I don't think it's worth the risk IMO. How would you feel if they had a serious side effect?