By Matthew Roscoe • 11 November 2021 • 10:10
Meningitis B vaccine will be free for children in Andalucia from December. Credit: Photo by CDC on Unsplash
THE meningitis B vaccine will now be included free of charge in the Andalucian Health Service‘s children’s vaccination schedule from December onwards, meaning that the parents of babies born from October 1, 2021, will no longer have to pay for the vaccine.
Currently, parents are having to pay more than 300 euros for three doses of the vaccine but this latest announcement will save families 20 million euros and will benefit 65,000 children in the community every year.
Following the Governing Council meeting on Wednesday, November 10, the Junta included Bexsero – the name of the meningitis B vaccine – in the Andalucian vaccination schedule, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, hepatitis B, invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b disease, pneumococcus, meningococcus serogroups B and ACWY, measles, rubella, mumps, chickenpox, human papillomavirus and influenza.
The Bexsero vaccine was so far purchased by 56 per cent of parents of young children in Andalucia with a total cost of the package per child of 318.45 euros, while for the Junta the vaccination will cost 11 million per year.
Doses of meningitis B vaccine are administered at two months, four months and 15 months. The drug prevents meningitis caused by meningococcal B bacteria, which mainly affects children under five years of age, with a 10-20 per cent mortality rate and 30 per cent permanent sequelae in survivors.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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