The UK Charity Meningitis Now has claimed that delays by the National Health Service (NHS) in making the first effective meningitis B vaccine freely available to the nation could have resulted in around 600 avoidable meningitis B cases in the last year. Of that figure, the charity believe nearly 200 could have died or suffered life-changing after effects.
The vaccine was made privately available in the UK in December 2012, with a cost of £75 to NHS patients, putting it out of the price range of many families.
The UK government is now being put under increasing pressure to approve the drug for reimbursement on the NHS, but the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation are not expected to make a decision until March. And, given that the committee passed over the vaccine previously, there is no reason to believe that they will find the efficacy data any more convincing second time around.
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