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Meningococcal B (MenB) immunisation

Meningococcal B (MenB) immunisation: recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)

In great news just released the Joint Committee on Vaccinnation and Immunisation (JCVI) have recommended the use of the recently licensed MenB vaccine, Bexsero® for infants.

As Dr Mathew A Diggle (Clinical Lead for Molecular Diagnostics | Clinical Microbiology
empath Pathology Services) commented, as someone Meningitis Association Scotland has worked with closely over the years and one of signatories of a letter to the Department of Health:

"As you will read, this does mean infants will have free access to the MenB vaccine in due course and hopefully this will have a positive impact and reduce the risk towards meningococcal B meningitis".

In a statement from Sarah Paterson at the Scottish Government Public Health Division:

"Meningococcal B (MenB) immunisation: recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)

I am contacting you to provide you with advance and embargoed notice of the publication tomorrow, Friday 21 March, of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) recommendation about use of the recently licensed MenB vaccine, Bexsero®.

In brief, the background is that JCVI, which provides independent expert advice to UK health Ministers on immunisation matters, began consideration of MenB immunisation in 2011, in anticipation of a MenB vaccine being developed and licensed. The first vaccine against MenB infection was authorised by the European Medicines Agency in early 2013 (Bexsero®, manufactured by Novartis).
Following the publication for consultation of an interim position statement in July 2013, and update statements in October 2013 and February 2014, JCVI will publish its position statement on the use of Bexsero® vaccine in the UK on 21 March 2014, along with the minutes of its meeting on 11 and 12 February at which it finalised its recommendation. The JCVI’s statement and minutes will be available tomorrow online at from about 9.30 am.

The JCVI has recommended that there should be a carefully planned infant immunisation programme for MenB (with doses given at 2, 4 and 12 months of age), as part of the primary infant immunisation schedule - subject to the Department of Health obtaining the vaccine at a cost-effective price, which is significantly lower than the list price. The Scottish Government is welcoming the news that the JCVI is recommending a routine infant programme.

In line with JCVI’s advice, we will also be planning to offer immunisation to 3 and 4 month-old infants, as part of the primary infant immunisation programme, who would not have had the opportunity to be immunised at 2 months of age.