Practice nurses and school nurses in England and Scotland can expect to deliver two new vaccines for meningitis from the start of the autumn.
The MenB and MenACWY vaccination programmes will protect babies and young people, according to a statement from the Department of Health, which was backed by a similar announcement by the Scottish Government.
“I am very proud that we will be able to offer families extra peace of mind”
The MenB programme will be offered alongside other routine infant vaccines through the NHS childhood immunisation programme.
From September, babies aged two months will be offered the MenB vaccine, which protects against meningococcal B disease, followed by a second dose at four months and a booster at 12 months.
There will also be a limited catch-up programme for infants who are due their three and four month vaccinations in September.
In addition, from August, all 17- and 18-year-olds in school year 13 will be offered a combined vaccine that protects against the A, C, W and Y strains of meningococcal disease.
The vaccine will also be available to older students aged 19 to 25 who are starting university this year.
From spring 2016 there will also be a school-based vaccination programme for MenACWY, which will replace the MenC-only vaccine that is currently offered to school Years 9 and 10. There will also be a catch-up programme for those in Year 11
Health minister Jane Ellison said: “I am very proud that we will be able to offer families extra peace of mind with these new vaccination programmes from this summer.”
In March this year, health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that a deal had been struck with GlaxoSmithKline to add MenB vaccine Bexsero to the childhood immunisation programme.
In the same month, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, advised ministers that 14- to 18-year-olds should be immunised using the combined MenACWY vaccine due to rising cases of MenW.
Scottish health secretary Shona Robison said: “We’re delighted to be one of the first countries in the world to introduce a nationwide MenB vaccination programme to help tackle the effects of this disease, which can be devastating for children and their families.
“Around 1,200 people – mainly babies and children – get meningitis B each year in the UK, and around one in 10 die from the infection,” she added.