Friday 13 December 2019

New vaccine to combat rise of meningitis W strain

Children are to be given an enhanced meningitis vaccine following a sharp rise in the number of cases in the last year.

The current vaccine, introduced in 2002, protects against the C strain of the disease, but in the last two years Meningitis W has been on the increase. So far in 2017 there have been 47 recorded cases compared to 50 for the whole of last year.

The new vaccine will be given to babies at 14 months and protects against the A, C, W and Y strains. Children in the first two years of secondary school will also be encouraged to have the immunisation as teenagers are among the group most at risk from meningitis infection, along with babies and the elderly.

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