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In January 2013, the first ever wide-ranging MenB (meningococcal B meningitis and septicaemia) vaccine was licensed by the European Commission, which judged that the vaccine, called Bexsero® was safe and effective. Licensure meant that the vaccine was authorised for use and governments could choose to implement it. You can read the statement here – read more at:


Why do we need a MenB vaccine?

For decades, MenB has been the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in the UK and Ireland. Vaccines are the only way to prevent meningitis and have almost eliminated some other kinds of meningitis. Since the first meningitis vaccine was introduced against Hib meningitis in 1992, many kinds of meningitis have been reduced or have dwindled to a mere handful of cases, including Hib, MenC and pneumococcal. Thanks to meningitis vaccines, thousands of children are alive today who would otherwise have died from these deadly diseases. Developing a MenB vaccine has been much more difficult – until now, protection against MenB has been a distant possibility. Meanwhile, meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia remain the leading infectious cause of death for children under five in the UK.

How effective is this vaccine? 

The effectiveness of a vaccine is determined by many things, including how strong an immune response it produces (its ‘immunogenicity’), and how widely it covers disease-causing strains circulating in the country. Results from the vaccine trials are very encouraging, showing that the vaccine triggers a strong immune response in infants, toddlers and adolescents [1-3]. Studies of circulating MenB strains looking at how well they match the vaccine have predicted that it will cover approximately 88% of MenB circulating in the UK [4], and 78% of MenB in Europe over all[5]. The actual proportion of cases prevented will depend on other things too, including how widely the vaccine is offered and taken up, whether it prevents the bacteria from being carried and passed on as well as protecting from disease, how long protection lasts, and whether it works sufficiently well in all age groups. – See more at: