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Meningitis C deaths cut to zero

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There were no deaths from meningitis C last year among the under-19s age group, according to government figures.

This is the first time ever that there were no deaths from the disease, which has killed up to 78 people a year, and can leave survivors with serious complications such as brain damage and amputations.

The DH is citing the figures from the Director of Immunisation’s report as evidence to back its policy of using NHS resources to prevent serious illness from happening.

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) was introduced in 2006 and has so far prevgented 470 deaths, the government claims.

Public health minister Dawn Primarolo said: 'This report underlines the need for vaccination and proves that our programme is helping to halt diseases in their tracks. It is proof that the UK has one of the most successful immunisation programmes in the world, thanks to the hard work of NHS staff.’

Other figures showed that just over 85 per cent of children now receive one dose of MMR vaccine by their second birthday and 74 per cent of people aged 65 and over in England received their flu vaccine.

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