COMMONS

Health experts and charities discuss meningitis vaccine for children

18 March 2016

The Health Committee joins the Petitions Committee in a second oral evidence session to question charities and medical experts on whether the meningitis vaccine should be given to all children.

Witnesses

Tuesday 22 March 2016, Wilson Room, Portcullis House

At 2.15pm

  • Sue Davie, CEO, Meningitis Now
  • Steve Drayman, Executive Founder, Meningitis Now
  • Vinny Smith, CEO, Meningitis Research Foundation
  • Linda Glennie, Head of Research and Medical Information, Meningitis Research Foundation

At 3pm

  • Dr Simon Nadel, Consultant in Paediatric Intensive Care at St Mary's and Imperial College London
  • Dr Helen Bedford, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Child Health, University College London
  • Prof Simon Kroll, Professor of Paediatrics, Imperial College London

At 3.45pm

  • Professor Andrew Pollard, Chair, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)
  • Dr Andrew Riordan, Chair, JCVI meningococcal sub-committee
  • Dr Mary Ramsay, Consultant Epidemiologist and Head, Immunisation, Hepatitis & Blood Safety Department, Public Health England
  • Prof John Cairns, Professor of Health Economics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Chair's comments

Helen Jones MP, Chair of the Petitions Committee, said:

"The number of signatures that this petition has received is a clear sign that the public wants to see further investigation of the meningitis B vaccine, and whether it should be given to more children. Both the Petitions Committee and the Health Committee were privileged to hear very moving evidence from families who have direct experience of the terrible disease. We will use these vital testimonies to inform our next evidence session with charities, medical experts and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. The evidence we hear will then inform the debate in Parliament."

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health Committee, said:

"The families we heard from have achieved more through their brave and moving testimonies than any Government-led programme or leafleting campaign to save lives and raise awareness. We will also have an opportunity to question the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, and the Head of the Immunisation, Hepatitis and Blood Safety Department, Public Health England when they give their evidence next week." 

The petition

The evidence sessions are related to an online petition which over 820,000 people have signed. The date of a Parliamentary debate on the petition is to be announced in due course.

Meningococcal B vaccination in the UK

The Health Committee has published correspondence relating to the subject (PDF PDF 19 KB) of the petition from the Chair of the JCVI.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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