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A historic step forward in ending scourge of meningitis

Editor's Viewpoint

Published 01/09/2015

The vaccination programme that begins today against meningococcal group B bacteria, which cause life-threatening infections including meningitis and blood poisoning, is indeed, in the words of Health Minister Simon Hamilton, a historic step forward.

The bacteria are the leading infectious killer of babies and young children in the UK as a whole.

There were concerns over the cost of the drugs, but it would have been short-sighted to allow that to prevent the introduction of the programme. It will pay for itself in saved hospital treatment, but, most importantly, in saved lives.

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