Major Government Report into Vaccine Funding Has Been Published-2417

February 27th, 2018
Major Government Report into Vaccine Funding Has Been Published-2417

A major government report into how they decide which vaccines will be funded by the NHS has been published.

The report has been long-awaited after calls for transparency into why a vaccine to protect children against meningitis B has not been made more widely available after Faye Burdett, 2, was deemed too old to have the vaccine and died of the illness in 2016.

Subsequently, a petition calling for all children to be vaccinated against the disease was submitted with over 820,000 signatures. This idea was rejected however due to not being cost-effective.

The report, Cost effectiveness methodology for vaccination programmes was commissioned in 2016 however the consultation on the report has only been published today. Health Minister Steven Brine was due to face questioning from MPs today as to why the report hadn’t been published despite a promised release date of the end of 2016.

In it, one of the recommendations was lowering the current cost-effectiveness threshold for vaccines, which would make immunisation at currently available prices potentially more difficult.

The reaction to the report being published is somewhat mixed, with the people pleased that it has finally been released offset by the people concerned by how long it has taken to be published and that some of the recommendations have the potential to harm attempts to prevent serious, potentially fatal illnesses from spreading.

It will take some time for the true extent of the report to be unpacked by health campaigners and charities, although the current reception is not positive.

Faye Burdett’s parents, Jenny and Neil Burdett, noted their disappointment and frustration with the report, arguing that it means the government sees protecting vulnerable children as not cost effective, feeling that one of the biggest petitions on the government’s petition website has been ignored.

Meningitis B is a serious bacterial infection that affects particularly young children, often less than 12 months old. As such, the government only offers the vaccine to children under a year old. It has a fatality rate of one in ten, with around 1,200 cases reported per year in the UK.

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