A Gainsborough mother is calling on the Government to help save lives and prevent disability by bringing in a new vaccine to protect children against Meningitis B.
Jennifer Lawson’s daughter Alice fell ill with the disease on Valentine’s Day 2010 when she was just 15 months old.
The family was told to expect the worst but miraculously Alice hung on, grasping to her life and fighting back and now, despite some after effects and the need for ongoing surgery, she is a happy and healthy little girl.
Jennifer, from Gainsborough, is now backing a campaign to give the Meningitis B vaccine to all babies free on the NHS.
The Beat it Now! campaign is being led by Meningitis Now, the UK’s largest meningitis charity which was formed after Meningitis UK and Meningitis Trust merged in April 2013.
Jennifer said: “I know what it’s like to have your life turned upside down by this disease and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”
“This vaccine could save two children’s lives every week and that’s why I’m supporting Meningitis Now and urging the government to save lives and bring in the vaccine now.”
The UK has one of the highest Meningitis B incidence rates in the world, affecting an average of 1,870 people each year over the last 10 years, most of whom are babies and children.
Meningitis B accounts for 50 per cent of the total cases of bacterial meningitis in the UK.
Meningitis Now has been campaigning to bring in the B vaccine since January 2013 and has the support of 134 MPs.
It has also delivered a 36,500 signature petition to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, led by founder Steve Dayman, who lost his son to meningitis 31 years ago.
Steve said: “In the next few weeks the Health Secretary will decide whether to give the Meningitis B vaccine free to babies on the NHS.”
“We are sending a clear message to the government, put babies and children’s lives before cost and make the decision to introduce the Meningitis B vaccine now.”
The Meningitis B vaccine was licensed for use in the UK in January 2013 and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has been looking at evidence of its effectiveness and cost before making a recommendation to the government.
Mr Hunt is expected to consider a recommendation from JCVI this month and publish a decision soon.
But it is not yet known what the outcome will be.
For more information on Meningitis Now, the disease and how to support the Beat it Now! vaccine campaign please visit the website at www.meningitisnow.org http://www.Beat-It-Now.org.