MPs get behind Beat it Now
Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Health)
As the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy makes the final decision on whether to introduce the Meningitis B vaccine into the UK immunisation schedule. He must first take advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) – the independent body which advises the Government on vaccination.
During Health Questions in the House of Commons on February 26, Margaret Ritchie MP asked the Secretary of State for Health: "This week I will meet my constituents Neal and Rita Denvir, whose son, Fionn, made a miraculous recovery from meningitis. Many are not so fortunate, however, so will the Secretary of State pledge his support to the Meningitis UK 'Beat it Now' campaign, and include the newly licensed vaccine for Meningitis B in the NHS childhood immunisation programme, so that no family has to live with the terror of that terrifying disease?"
In response, Jeremy said: "As the father of two young children, I completely share the hon. Lady’s passion for this issue and I am happy to give my support to Meningitis UK. The decision on whether to include a meningitis jab in the immunisation campaign is made by an independent expert panel, and I will always follow its advice."
Tom Brake (Deputy Leader, House of Commons)
Tom met our supporter Carolyn Tait from Carshalton, who lost her 18-year-old daughter Georgia to meningitis.
Tom said: “Meningitis is still a dangerous disease. Too many children and adults are still at risk of losing their life to this deadly infection. I am happy to support the campaign for greater awareness of the disease and the importance of eradicating all forms of meningitis and associated septicaemia. The licensing of the Meningitis B vaccine by the European Commission earlier this year has been an incredibly important milestone. It is encouraging to see the developments taking place that bring us closer to eradicating the disease once and for all. But meningitis needs to remain high on the public health agenda. The campaign has to continue until the disease is completely wiped out.
Chris Skidmore (Kingswood, South Gloucestershire and member of Health Select Committee)
Chris is a member of the Government Health Select Committee. After speaking to local Meningitis UK supporters Anne Harrison and Hannah Smart, he was firmly behind our Beat it Now campaign. He met Hannah Smart, our Founder Steve Dayman and our Chief Executive Kate Rowland.
Chris said: "Every case of a child catching meningitis is a tragedy. It is vital that we do all that we can to prevent this disease occurring, and any vaccine that is available should be made full use of. It is heartbreaking when lives so young can be cut short by this appalling illness.
Rob Wilson (Private Parliamentary Secretary to Jeremy Hunt)
Rob is the Private Parliamentary Secretary to Jeremy Hunt – Secretary of State for Health. He met his constituents Alison and Duncan Coneybeare and their daughter Eleanor, who lost limbs to meningitis. Our Chief Executive Kate Rowland was also present.
Rob said: "The campaign to get a lifesaving Meningitis B vaccine made available to all children in the UK is one I have a great deal of sympathy with. The vaccine could save thousands of lives, especially among children under five, who are most at risk. I met Alison, Duncan and Eleanor Coneybeare to discuss this further and thank them for their bravery in coming forward to raise awareness of this terrible disease.”
Margaret Ritchie (South Down)
Margaret Ritchie met local Meningitis UK supporters Rita, Neal and Fionn Denvir from Newcastle, County Down. Fionn survived meningitis.
"Meningitis B is the most common form of the disease in Northern Ireland. Some of the children and families affected live in South Down. Meningitis B can be a killer, and for those who survive they can be left dealing with this trauma for the rest of their lives. I am fully behind the campaign fronted by local families affected by his disease, calling for the introduction of the Meningitis B vaccine to start saving lives."
Neil Carmichael (Stroud)
Neil attended the Pyjama Day fundraising event organised by our supporters Aurelie Brunet-Lua and Nick Sacca. Their son Mattia recovered from Meningitis B.
Neil said: “I am delighted to have been able to support this deserving cause. It resonates in the Stroud constituency as several of my constituents have fallen victim to this terrible illness and I am acutely aware of its long-term consequences to both the patients and their families.”
Andy Love (Edmonton)
Andy said:“The government needs to bring in vaccination for Meningitis B as soon as possible. It is still a serious killer, particularly of young people – so as much protection as possible is essential.”
Sharon Hodgson (Shadow Children's Minister)
“Meningitis B can have such a dramatic impact on the lives of children and their families, whether it’s bereavement in the worst cases or lifelong disabilities or learning difficulties in many others. This new vaccine – a culmination of decades of research – offers a real ray of hope in trying to reduce those deaths and disabilities, and I sincerely hope that it can be approved for wide use as soon as possible.”
Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West)
“The work Meningitis UK is doing not only changes lives; it saves them. Meningitis B has a devastating impact on people across the UK and around the world. It is fantastic news that a vaccine has now been licensed and can begin the fightback against this terrible virus. I’m proud to support the ‘Beat it Now’ campaign and hope to see the vaccine offered during routine childhood vaccinations.”
Stephen Williams (Bristol West)
“Meningitis B is a devastating and deadly condition which must be prevented. I have met with constituents who have lost loved ones and I will never forget their heartbreak. Last year I wrote to the Department of Health about a vaccine for Meningitis B. Though the decision to license a vaccine is wholly independent of Government, I was told that an independent and expert review had begun and would be completed in 2013. I trust that the hopes of Meningitis UK are well placed and we will soon have an effective vaccine for this terrible condition.”
Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East)
“We know the UK is a hot-spot for Meningitis B and has one of the highest incidence rates in the world. Sadly, one in 10 people who contract Meningitis B die and many more left with life-changing after-effects, such as brain damage. This new vaccine will provide people with greater protection.”
Stephen Gilbert (St Austell and Newquay)
“This breakthrough vaccine is great news in the battle against Meningitis B. I am pledging my support to Meningitis UK as they lobby the Government to roll out the use of this vaccine so that no more families will have to suffer the impact of losing a loved one to this devastating disease."
Alan Campbell (Tynemouth)
“It is an important step forward that the vaccine has been granted a European licence. I know that several families in my constituency have been affected by this devastating disease. I am supportive of the Meningitis UK campaign to ensure the vaccine becomes part of the UK Routine Immunisation Schedule so the vaccine can be made available on the NHS as soon as possible."
Graeme Morrice (Livingston)
“Meningitis B is a harmful condition which can be prevented, so it is great news that a vaccine has now been licensed that can begin the fight-back against this terrible disease. I’m proud to support the ‘Beat it Now’ campaign to get this lifesaving vaccine made widely available, and hope to see the vaccine offered during routine childhood vaccinations. We need the Government to act fast and urgently introduce the Meningitis B vaccine into the immunisation schedule”.
Steve McCabe (Birmingham Selly Oak)
“Meningitis B can be a killer and can severely damage young lives. At last a vaccine, Bexsero, has been found. We owe it to our children to make sure the government develops a programme now to ensure the vaccine is widely used. If we all pull in the same direction we can ‘Beat it Now’”
Robert Buckland (South Swindon)
"Meningitis B is a terrible disease and I have always respected the great work that Meningitis UK do in this area. We should be doing all we can to tackle this disease and I hope this new vaccine can be approved as soon as possible. I wholeheartedly agree it is time to ‘Beat It Now’."
Simon Reevell (Dewsbury)
“Meningitis hasn’t gone away - it still kills far too many children and leaves many more with life-long disabilities. It is great news that the new Meningitis B vaccine has been licensed and I hope that it will not be long before it is introduced as part of the childhood immunisation schedule”.
Jonathan Lord MP (Woking)
“This is an incredibly important campaign, as a supporter of the Meningitis UK ‘Beat it Now’ campaign. I call upon the Government to introduce the vaccine against Meningitis B”.
Lee Scott (Ilford North)
“There is no doubt that Meningitis is a seriously dangerous disease. Meningitis B is the most common form of the illness. This infection can kill or leave the individual with crippling damage. We need to do all that we can to eradicate this infection once and for all. I fully support the ‘Beat it Now’ campaign. I commend the work of Meningitis UK to raise awareness of the disease and to seek effective preventative measures.”
Philip Davies (Shipley)
“It is tremendously exciting news that medical science has found a viable and effective vaccine for Meningitis B – a strain of meningitis that can sadly prove fatal on too many occasions. I support Meningitis UK's 'Beat it Now' campaign to ensure that the government includes this vaccination into the childhood immunisation programme.”
David Amess (Southend West)
“I fully support the Meningitis UK ‘Beat it now’ campaign as they are a fantastic organisation attempting to fight against this terrible disease and protect our children.”
Jim Dobbin (Haywood and Middleton)
“I support Meningitis UK’s ‘Beat it Now’ campaign. Anything that reduces the chance of a child being affected by such a tragic disease is to be welcomed. I call on the Government to introduce the vaccine against meningitis B as quickly as possible.”
Matthew Offord MP (Hendon)
“Meningitis kills far too many people and leaves too many more with life-long disabilities. Although real progress has been made over the last decade, more needs to be done. Meningitis is vaccine preventable and no child should be dying from it in today’s world. I support all efforts to introduce the vaccine for Meningitis B as quickly as possible and have pressed the Government to answer when they will be doing so.”
Dennis Skinner MP (Bolsover)
“I am happy to support the Meningitis UK ‘Beat it Now’ Campaign to call on the government to introduce the new meningitis B vaccination. Meningitis B is still the most deadly strand of the disease and it is fantastic news that a vaccine has now been discovered and should be adopted quickly into the childhood immunisation schedule.”
Nic Dakin MP (Scunthorpe)
“I support Meningitis UK’s “Beat it Now” campaign A vaccine has just been licensed in the UK for Meningitis B which could save thousands of lives, especially among children under 5. Now a vaccine is available it should be included in children’s Immunisation schedule so that as many lives as possible can be saved.”
Jon Ashworth MP (Leicester South)
“Beat it Now’ is a vital campaign which, if successful, could result in the NHS provision of a vaccine that should protect against 73% of the bacteria strains that cause Meningitis B in the UK. I call on the Government to include this vaccine in its NHS childhood immunisation programme as soon as possible.”
Julian Huppert (Cambridge)
“It is excellent news that a vaccine against this terrifying disease has been licensed; now it is vital that the Government makes it available to children across the UK as soon as possible.
Meningitis has devastating consequences, not only claiming lives but also leaving victims with disabilities or brain damage. If we have the opportunity to prevent this, we must take it.”
There can be nothing worse than losing a child. This vaccine means that hopefully we can finally see an end to this dreadful disease.”
Stephen Mosley (City of Chester)
“Whenever I have met with Chester constituents who have lost loved ones to meningitis, I am always shocked at how quickly affected they are and how quickly the disease can take hold. The only way to counter this in the long-term is to develop and promote an effective vaccine. I strongly hope that the Joint Committee on Immunisation and Vaccination recommends to introduce this vaccine into the routine childhood vaccination programme.”
David Winnick (Walsall North)
"[The campaign] has my full support, and for all the valid reasons mentioned. As for young Tommy himself, it is marvellous that despite all, he is moving around, learning to walk using his new prosthetic legs. Everyone will wish him, despite all the setbacks he has suffered, the very best for a happy life. All success for the campaign, and best wishes."
Sajjad Karim (MEP North West England)
I am very pleased to give my support to the Beat it Now campaign calling for the introduction of the new Meningitis B vaccine in the UK. Adding this vaccine to the routine childhood immunisation programme is the only way we can put an end to such a terrible disease in the long term.
As a Member of the European Parliament and as a parent, I was delighted that the European Commission licenced the new Bexsero vaccine in January 2013 and I now call on the UK Government and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to add the new Meningitis B vaccine to the list of vaccines routinely offered to young children in the UK.
More MPs are pledging to support Beat it Now every day, so please keep checking this page for details.