Meningitis vaccine to get UK licence19th November 2012
A vaccine developed by Novartis against meningitis B has been recommended for approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The charity Meningitis UK called the 4CMenB vaccine jab the "biggest leap forward in the field" in 30 years.
One in 10 people who develop meningitis B dies and around 1,870 people contract the disease every year in the UK.
Children under five have the highest danger of contracting the bacterial infection, which inflames the brain and spinal cord.
Around 25% of people who survive the illness suffer limb amputations or brain damage.
The vaccine, which will be known as Bexsero, will most likely be licensed in the UK in early 2013.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will be responsible for making the decision about the introduction of the jab to the immunisation schedule.
Research has shown the jab can be effective against 73% of the different strains of the meningitis B infection.
The founder of Meningitis UK, Steve Dayman, said: "It is vital that the vaccine is introduced in the UK immunisation schedule as soon as possible."
"It will save countless lives and prevent many people enduring the suffering caused by this devastating disease. We will be campaigning hard to make the government introduce it."
Andrin Oswald, head of vaccines at Novartis, said: "We are proud of the major advance that our meningococcal group B vaccine represents within the field of vaccine development against what up until now has been a very challenging disease target."
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Title: Meningitis vaccine to get UK licence
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 23176
Date Added: 19th Nov 2012