Shadow Children’s Minister, Steve McCabe asks Health Minister why all children don’t have access to Meningitis B vaccine

Steve McCabe MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Children and Families questioned Jeremy Hunt MP, the Secretary of State for Health in the House of Commons on the lack of access to the Meningitis B vaccine for all children.

During Health Questions on 14 January 2014 Steve reminded Mr Hunt that he had received a letter from 118 health professionals determined to see an end to the leading cause of meningitis, which kills and maims more children than any other infection in the UK. The vaccine is only available to parents who pay privately but is denied to most children. The letter urged the Health Minister to demonstrate his genuine support for child health and innovative vaccine development.

Steve asked Jeremy Hunt MP whether he would agree to meet the families of children who have had meningitis B to consider all the points raised by clinicians before letting the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation completely rule out access to the vaccine. Jeremy Hunt MP responded by saying that he is likely to accept the advice off the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and did not show a willingness to meet with families campaigning for the Meningitis B vaccine.

Steve McCabe MP said:

“I am disappointed by the Health Secretary’s answer to my question on the Meningitis B vaccine. I don’t think the vaccine should solely be a privilege for those paying for it; all children should have access to it. Parents have expressed real concerns about access to the vaccine and I think that Mr Hunt’s response will demonstrate to most parents and experts in the health field that he is unwilling to take their children’s health seriously.”

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