Breakthrough meningitis B vaccine set to receive UK licence

An average of 1,870 people contract meningitis B each year and one in 10 of them die. The 4CMenB vaccine, developed by Novartis, has been described as the "biggest leap forward in the field" in 30 years by the charity Meningitis UK. The jab was recommended for approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
About a quarter of all survivors of meningitis B are left with life altering after-effects, such as brain damage or limb loss. Children under the age of five are the most at risk from the bacterial infection, which leads to inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
Recommendations from the EMA are normally endorsed by the European Commission within two or three months. The vaccine, known as Bexsero, is expected to receive its UK licence early next year. It has been recommended for use in children aged two months and older.
Meningitis UK has described the breakthrough as a "landmark moment in the fight against meningitis" and wants the jab to be introduced into the government’s routine immunisation schedule as a priority. The charity’s founder Steve Dayman, whose baby son died of meningitis and septicaemia in 1982, said: "It is vital that the vaccine is introduced in the UK immunisation schedule as soon as possible.
"It will save countless lives and prevent many people enduring the suffering caused by this devastating disease.