Meningitis C cut by three quarters
A new vaccine, launched last year to combat a strain of meningitis, has cut the incidence of cases of the deadly brain disease by three quarters in its first three months.
The vaccine against meningitis C - the fastest growing strain - was introduced last November and targeted initially at teenagers aged 15 to 17, who are at highest risk. Immunisation is expected to cover all children under five by the summer.
The impact on the disease was immediate. Figures published by the Department of Health yesterday show that there were 16 cases of meningitis C in 15 to 17-year-olds from the beginning of December to the middle of March where 70 cases were expected.
Cases in children under 12 months showed a similar decline, with 10 reported cases compared with 37 expected.
Speaking at a news conference yesterday, head of the vaccination team Dr David Salisbury said an estimated 127 cases of Group C meningitis had been avoided since last autumn and about 13 deaths had been prevented.
Yvette Cooper, the health minister, said: "We are the first country in the world to have this new vaccine and it has already cut the winter cases of meningococcal Group C disease in the immunised groups by around 75 per cent.
"This new vaccine puts the UK in the forefront of tackling this devastating disease."
Despite a decline in vaccination rates, reports suggest that take up of the new meningitis vaccine has been high.
Ms Cooper said the Government aimed to offer the vaccine to everyone under the age of 18 by autumn, a target of 15 million children.
Life & Style blogs
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers
Airline food across the classes: Ever wondered what the other half are eating?
Coachella Festival 2015: from Kendall Jenner to Alexa Chung, stars and festival-goers parade their boho best
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Huawei P8 review: best phones nobody's seen from the biggest company nobody's heard
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...