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Meningitis vaccine: cases fall in UK, but herd immunity remains elusive in Australia

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 23 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m301
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London, UK

The UK’s infant vaccination programme against group B meningococcal disease has resulted in a significant reduction in cases of the disease in young children, according to research from Public Health England published in the New England Journal of Medicine.1

However, an Australian study published in the same journal found that while the meningitis B vaccine also works in teenagers it does not provide herd protection against the meningococcal bacteria so will only protect those who are adequately immunised.2

In September 2015 the UK became the first country to offer the 4CMenB vaccine (Bexsero) to babies at 8 and 16 weeks of age, followed by a booster at 12 months.

The results show that from September 2015 through to August 2018 there …

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