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Meningitis Now  18th November 2014


Sir Roger Gale MP backs call to end delay on vaccine

North Thanet's MP, Sir Roger Gale, is backing a charity’s call to end delays and introduce a vaccine to protect babies against Meningitis B as soon as possible.

Roger recently attended an event with leading charity Meningitis Now, to discuss the impact meningitis has in the UK and meet families affected by the disease.

The UK has one of the world’s highest Meningitis B rates and it kills more of the country’s under-fives than any other infectious disease.

Meningitis Now said there have been 1,000 cases of meningococcal group B disease (Men B) since the new vaccine Bexsero received its licence in January 2013 – yet the vaccine still hasn’t been given to babies.

Roger supporting Meningitis Now

Of these cases, around 400 people will have died or suffered disabilities, which cost the NHS over a lifetime.

Back in March, the Government said the vaccine would be given free to babies up to age one on the NHS, subject to price negotiations with developer Novartis.

Now Roger is backing the call to finish negotiations and get the vaccine implemented.

Sir Roger says:

“For some people the introduction of the vaccine is sadly already too late. I think that it is vital that we secure the treatment as soon as possible to prevent further avoidable deaths”.

Founder of Meningitis Now Steve Dayman MBE, who launched the UK’s meningitis movement after losing his baby son Spencer to the disease in 1982, believes “enough is enough”.

Steve, who won a Pride of Britain Award for his 32-year crusade, earlier this month, said: “Negotiations have gone on too long – cut the red tape now, so no more lives are needlessly lost.

“It’s ridiculous that talks are still going on 8 months after we were told the vaccine will be on the NHS.

“The award-winning vaccine is the most monumental leap forward in the meningitis fight – the time is now to bring in this vaccine.”

The UK’s largest meningitis charity launched Beat it Now! to unite supporters to call for the vaccine.

The campaign, which saw a 36,500-name petition delivered to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, now focuses on speeding up negotiations.

To join Beat it Now! or for more information visit

Contact: Meningitis Now on 01453 768000 or


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