Teenagers urged to take part in meningitis B vaccine trial

Teenagers in Great Britain are being asked to take part in a study to learn if immunising them against meningitis B could protect them and other people.

The NHS wants 24,000 to take part in the Oxford Vaccine Group's Be On The Team trial, which is helped by National Institute for Health Research funding.

Bacteria at the back of the throat can cause meningitis and the study will see if vaccination can stop this happening.

The trial will take place in four waves of recruitment over the next two years.

Control group

Each of the teenagers who chooses to participate, in Year 12 in England or the equivalent in Scotland and Wales, will be put into one of three groups of 8,000 participants and will receive two doses of one of two vaccines.

Two of these groups will be in the programme for a year, with the third, which will act as a control group, taking part for 18 months.

The recruitment started this week and is planned to work around school holidays and exams, taking place in March-April and September-October this year and in 2019.

Dr Matthew Snape, a consultant paediatrician at the Oxford Vaccine Group, told the BBC: "We've had great enthusiasm from the schools we have approached, with the majority of Year 12 students interested in taking part.

"The peak of carriage for the bacteria is from the teenage years through to young adulthood - there is a lot of carriage with university students.

"We are doing the study to help us understand whether an immunisation campaign in teenagers would help us to protect the whole community."

Dr Snape said the study's findings would be passed on to policymakers "to inform any future decisions about adolescent meningococcal immunisation". And there have already been calls for a wider meningitis B immunisation programme.

Following the death of two-year-old Faye Burdett in 2016, a petition set up to ask for all children to be routinely vaccinated attracted 820,000 signatures.

As a result, the government published a report last month explaining how it made decisions about which vaccines to fund.

One of the report's recommendations was to lower the cost-effectiveness threshold for immunisation - widescale vaccination against meningitis B had been rejected as being "not cost effective".

A consultation on the report is running until 21 May.

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Teenagers, meningitis B vaccine trial, immunizing, protect


Source: BBC

Teenagers, meningitis B vaccine trial, immunizing, protect