14/08/2014 16:59 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Vaccine To Protect Against Deadly Meningitis B To Be Available On NHS For Babies

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'Bck View of baby girl patient receiving vaccine at the doctor's office, focus on hand holding vaccine'

A vaccine against a deadly form of meningitis will be introduced on the NHS for babies - if costs can be agreed.

Babies under one year are most at risk of meningitis B, and the cases peak at around five or six months of age.

The bacterial infection causes inflammations of the brain and spinal cord. It leaves one in four with life-altering effects, such as brain damage or limb loss.

About 1,870 people contract meningitis B each year and one in 10 dies.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which has recommended the move to the Government, had said last year that the jab was not cost-effective.

Meningitis charities said more data had led to today's decision, and it was a 'wonderful outcome'.

The JCVI said the vaccine was effective in preventing meningitis B and should be rolled out subject to it being made available by the manufacturer 'at a cost effective price'.

According to the Independent, it has recommended the jab be added to the existing immunisation schedule, starting at two months of age.

Around 700,000 infants will be eligible for vaccination each year.

There are vaccines against other forms of meningitis but the Bexsero jab, developed by Novartis, is the only one thought to protect against meningitis B.

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