Stroud charity takes its campaign for a new meningitis vaccine to Downing Street
A PETITION containing more than 20,000 signatures which calls on the Government to sanction the introduction of a new meningitis B vaccine has been delivered to Downing Street by a Stroud-based charity.
Representatives of Meningitis Now, Britain’s largest meningitis charity, which was created earlier this year following the merger of Stroud’s Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK, took their campaign to the Prime Minister’s doorstep on Wednesday, October 23.
The same day they also hosted an event in Westminster to raise awareness about the disease and to invite MPs to sign up to the Beat It Now vaccine campaign.
Among those who pledged their support for the charity was Stroud MP Neil Carmichael, who met families and young people whose lives had been devastated by the disease.
The Conservative politician said: “After meeting families and hearing from young people directly affected by meningitis, I was keen to make a commitment to do everything I can to support them.
“Meningitis is unpredictable and is still the disease feared most by parents. Vaccines have made a huge impact on cases but I was shocked to hear that it still affects thousands of people every year.
“Two children die every week in the UK and even adults are affected, that’s why I’m supporting Meningitis Now to save lives and rebuild futures.”
There are an estimated 3,400 cases of bacterial meningitis and septicaemia each year in the UK and one in ten people who get bacterial meningitis will die, while one in three will be left with life-changing after-effects such as brain damage or limb loss.
The government is currently considering bringing in a new vaccine to protect babies against meningitis B, which accounts for 50% of cases.
Sue Davie, the chief executive of Meningitis Now, said: “I want to thank Neil for his support and for taking time out to listen to the real life experiences of families affected by meningitis.
“With his help we can make a difference to people in the UK – people who are at risk from meningitis and those whose lives have already been changed forever because of it.”
For more information on Meningitis Now, the disease and how to support the charity’s Beat it Now vaccine campaign visit: www.meningitisnow.org
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