This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Meningitis B vaccine soon to be available in the UK

Written by: | Published:

MenB vaccine to come to UK MenB vaccine to come to UK

A meningitis B vaccine called Bexsero has been licensed by the European Commission and will soon be available in the UK

Meningitis, if left untreated, can cause severe brain damage and infect the blood (septicaemia). In some cases bacterial meningitis can be fatal.

The charity Meningitis UK, estimates that there are 1,870 cases of meningitis B each year in the UK. Meningitis B is most common in children under five years old, and in particular in babies under the age of one.

While there are effective vaccines against the other common strains of bacterial meningitis (A, C, W-135, Y3), until now, there has been no vaccine against the B strain.

According to NHS Choices, the vaccine Bexsero, is provides 73% protection against meningitis B, which should significantly reduce the number of cases. The vaccine can be administered to infants aged two months or older by practice nurses - either by itself, or in combination with other childhood vaccines.

The vaccine has been tested in clinical trials involving over 8,000 people. In infants, it was found to have similar levels of safety and tolerability as other routine childhood vaccines. The most commonly reported side effects were redness and swelling at the site of the injection, irritability and/or fever

It is uncertain whether the NHS will provide the vaccine free of charge because the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has not yet made any announcement.

The JCVI is due to meet in June 2013, although they are unlikely to make a decision until they have had time to consider the evidence of cost-effectiveness and safety in greater detail.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.