Parents with babies born on or after 1 May 2015 are being urged to ensure they have them immunised with the Men B vaccination to protect them against infection by meningococcal group B bacteria.
As part of the NHS immunisation programme, all babies born on or after 1 May 2015 are eligible to receive the Men B immunisation until the age of 2 years.
The Men B immunisation programme started on 1 September 2015 for babies born on or after 1 July 2015. However, there was a limited catch-up programme for babies born on or after 1 May 2015 and these babies remain entitled for the vaccination until the age of 2.
The Men B vaccine will protect your baby against infection, which are responsible for more than 90% of meningococcal infections in young children.
Meningococcal infections can be very serious, causing meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning), which can lead to severe brain damage, amputations and, in some cases, death. Meningitis and septicaemia caused by meningococcal group B bacteria can affect people of any age, but is most common in babies and young children.
Your doctor’s surgery or clinic should have automatically sent you an appointment for you to bring your baby for their Men B vaccination alongside their other routine vaccinations. Most surgeries and health centres run special immunisation or baby clinics. If you can’t get to the clinic, contact the surgery to make another appointment.
Unfortunately, babies born before the 1 May 2015 are not eligible for the vaccination on the NHS.
Limited stocks of the vaccination are available privately, but GPs are not able to charge patients registered at their practice a private fee for the vaccine.
Further information about Men B immunisation can be found on the NHS Choices website at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/meningitis-b-vaccine.aspx