Childhood vaccines reduce meningitis cases to record low

Cases of meningitis in England are at a record low thanks to the success of childhood vaccines against the three strains of the infection, the health secretary Alan Johnson has announced.

Since the Hib vaccine was introduced in 1992, cases of meningitis dropped by 99% from 800 cases a year to just 12 cases last year.

Since the meningitis C vaccine was introduced in 1999, deaths fell from 79 to an average of less than one death a year.

The pneumococcal vaccine has also helped to prevent over 900 serious cases of meningitis.

Mr Johnson, said: ‘In just over 15 years, thanks to the NHS immunisation programme, cases of meningitis are at a record low.

‘This is thanks to decades of research by scientists and dedication of NHS staff, and with the support of parents.'

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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