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Babies set to receive three doses of the drug

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 22/06/2015

The vaccine Bexsero will be offered for babies starting at two months, followed by another dose at four months and a booster dose at one year.

Britain will become the first country in the world to start a national, publicly funded immunisation drive against meningitis B.

GPs will administer vaccines on the NHS.

There will also be a limited catch-up programme for infants who are due their three and four-month vaccinations in September.

The Men ACWY vaccine programme to protect against the four strains of the disease, Meningococcal A, C, W and Y (MenACWY). will begin in August with 17 to 18-year-olds (School year 13) and older university entrants (aged 19 to 25) being offered the vaccine.

These age groups are at the highest risk of infection because of close contact in shared accommodation, such as university halls of residence.

Meningococcal meningitis, which is infection and inflammation of the brain's lining, and meningococcal septicaemia, or blood poisoning, are both infections caused by the meningococcus bacteria. They can lead to death or severe disability without prompt diagnosis.

The same age groups will be offered immunisation in 2016 and 2017. These measures apply to England and Scotland only.

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