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New meningitis vaccines to be introduced in Wales

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New vaccines to protect against different forms of meningitis will be introduced in Wales at the end of the summer, bringing it in line with similar announcements for England and Scotland.

From the start of September, the meningitis B vaccine (Bexsero) will be introduced to the routine childhood vaccination programme in Wales.

It will be given in three doses at the age of two, four and 12 months. All babies in Wales who are aged two months when the vaccine is introduced will be eligible for the jab.

There will be a catch-up programme for those children born between May 1 and June 30, 2015.

There were nine cases of meningitis B in Wales in the first five months of 2015, according to the Welsh government.

“Wales is one of the first countries in the world to introduce a nation-wide MenB vaccination programme”

Mark Drakeford

A new meningitis ACWY vaccine will also be introduced in Wales, replacing the existing meningitis C jab given to teenagers and people starting university.

From August, the ACWY vaccine will be offered to all students under 25 who are attending university for the first time this autumn.

There will also be a catch-up programme for all 14 to 18-year-olds over the next two years.

Professor Mark Drakeford, health and social services minister for Wales, said: “I’m pleased to announce we will make the new MenB and MenACWY vaccines available in Wales.”

The announcement follows similar statements issued last month by the Department of Health for England and the Scottish government.

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