Campaigner urges use of vaccine

A meningitis campaigner from the county is encouraging people to take up the new free vaccines for babies, teenagers and university students.

From the start of September, the world’s first comprehensive vaccination programme against meningococcal B (MenB) meningitis and septicaemia for babies has been introduced into the UK’s immunisation programme.

Meningitis Research Foundation member and ambassador Rachel Long, from Blyth, said: “My daughter Ellie contracted Group B Meningococcal Septicaemia when she was only two years old in 2010 and died six hours after her first rash spot appeared.

“Ellie was a very beautiful, bright, funny, loving, clever little girl and I think the best word we would use to describe her would be unique.

“Since she died we have raised nearly £43,502.50 for Meningitis Research Foundation.

“Our family know how devastating these diseases can be, so we would urge all who are eligible to make sure they get the vaccines.”

The new vaccines join others against meningococcal C, Hib and pneumococcal meningitis and septicaemia in the UK immunisation programme.

Meningitis Research Foundation’s pioneering work contributed to the development of the MenB vaccine in the UK, and the charity is now seeking support from the public to enable funding of research to maintain and evaluate the effectiveness of the vaccine.

For any questions about meningitis, septicaemia and vaccination against the diseases call MRF’s helpline on 080 8800 3344 or visit