‘Vaccines save lives – it’s important children get them’

Deputy John Brassil: A more proactive approach is needed

THE cost of Meningitis B vaccine could end up being life-threatening for children whose families can’t afford the shot, a Kerry TD has warned.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Primary Care, John Brassil, said it’s time to consider making the vaccine free to every child nationwide.

He was commenting following the deaths of a number people from the illness in the past three weeks.

“It was a welcome development in 2016 when the lifesaving Meningitis B vaccine was made available free of charge for infants up to the age of 12 months.

“However, for other children there is a cost of some €280 for the two shots required. For a family with several children such a cost could be prohibitive. It could also be life threatening,” Deputy Brassil warned.

He said the authorities need to examine what we can do to make it free for all children.

“The HSE must urgently consider providing it free to children in areas at risk. It’s also critical that the HSE moves to boost the take up rates for all meningitis vaccines as it has fallen slightly in recent years. These vaccines save lives and it is important that all our children get them,” the Kerry TD said.

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