Health Ministry approves meningitis vaccine sales

Image of people enjoying Malaga Fair. Credit: [email protected]

VACCINES against Meningitis B, which currently can’t be bought from chemists in Spain, will soon be available to purchase.
The Spanish Ministry of Health has confirmed that the wheels have been set rolling by the Aemps Spanish Medicine and Sanitary Product Agency to give access to the vaccines, which paediatricians have been requesting for months,
Today, the injections are only available in hospitals and given on prescription from a doctor, usually when an outbreak is detected or to members of groups at particular risk.
Just days ago, the Spanish Outpatient and Primary Attention Paediatricians’ Society (Sepeap) called for the ministry to release the injections for purchase by the public at chemists as other European countries have done.
In fact, many parents living near the Portuguese or French borders said that their children’s doctors had recommended they drive to the neighbouring countries to buy the injections.
A Ministry of Health spokesperson said that the vaccines will be available within a few months, once the Aemps has changed the labelling to allow their use outside hospitals.
For the current season (data up to May 21), the Carlos III Health Institute reported 183 cases of meningitis, 80 of which were type B. These cases resulted in 13 deaths.
Paediatricians have asked for the vaccines to be included in the general calendar shared by all the regions in Spain and financed by the public health system. They said that this is expected to be done in the UK and some parts of Italy and Germany.

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