Meningitis vaccine 'four years too late for Charlotte Nott'

The Oxford Times: Charlotte Nott with mum Jenny Daniels Charlotte Nott with mum Jenny Daniels

THE family of meningitis survivor Charlotte Nott says the introduction of a new vaccine will save lives but it is four years too late for them.

The Department of Health announced on Friday that a vaccine against meningitis B will be introduced into the childhood vaccination programme, provided the cost with the manufacturer can be agreed.

Six-year-old Charlotte, from Cowley, lost the lower part of her arms and legs as a baby after contracting meningitis, an illness caused by inflammation to the lining of the brain.

Charlotte’s mum Jenny Daniels welcomed the news that the vaccine will be introduced.

The 32-year-old, who is also mum to George, four, and Libby, two, said: “It is brilliant, I think it makes sense.

“It is really great news for myself and the family and lots of people I know.”

She added: “Get the vaccine out to as many children as possible so at least it will lower the number of cases.

“It will always be bittersweet for the families who have lost children because they didn’t have this vaccine 10 years ago — it could have saved more lives.

“It has taken a long time to get it.”

Charlotte’s dad Alex Nott, 32, said: “It is brilliant news, but for me it is four years too late.

“It is just over money really, they are spending it on the wrong things. At least it means it will save a lot of lives.”

He added: “I just wish it had been made available earlier.”

Oxford researchers were involved in the development of the vaccine.

The decision to introduce it in the UK follows advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which said that evidence shows the Bexsero vaccine is effective in preventing the disease in infants.

It had said last year that it would not be cost effective.

If plans progress, infants will be immunised at two months old.

Prof Andrew Pollard, chairman of the JCVI and Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity at Oxford University, said: “Meningitis B disproportionately affects babies and young children and can be devastating.

“After very careful consideration, JCVI concluded that use of the new vaccine would reduce cases of meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia and lead to a reduction in deaths, limb amputations and brain injury caused by the disease.”

Prof Richard Moxon, from Oxford University, helped with the vaccine’s development.

He said: “This is wonderful news for children, parents and everyone who worked so hard to make this happen.”

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