Lindfield Meningitis survivor’s plea for vaccination

Carol and Anna Taylor SUS-150313-105543001
Carol and Anna Taylor SUS-150313-105543001

A meningitis survivor is appealing to Mid Sussex MP Nicholas Soames for his help to introduce a ‘life-saving’ vaccination.

Carol Taylor, from Lindfield, is supporting a campaign to introduce a vaccine for meningococcal Group B (Men B) – one of the largest causes of meningitis in the UK.

Charity Meningitis Research Foundation has launched the #WheresOurVaccine campaign to petition the Department of Health.

Carol said: “I am supporting the #WheresOurVaccine campaign because I was diagnosed with group B meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia in 2007.

“My daughter Anna found me in bed in agony and I was rushed to hospital and put on a life support machine.

“Amazingly, I returned home after just ten days and went on to make a full recovery - something that doctors told us would never have been possible had Anna my daughter not called an ambulance when I did so I could receive vital antibiotics.

My daughter Anna found me in bed in agony and I was rushed to hospital and put on a life support machine.

Carol Taylor, Lindfield

“I was so lucky to recover unscathed.”

Symptoms of the meningococcal infection are leg pains, cold hands or feet – even if you have a high temperature and pale, dusky or blue colour of the skin around the lips.

MP Nicholas Soames told the Mid Sussex Times he ‘fully supported’ Carol’s plight to get the vaccine introduced and had signed the petition.

“I am completely on her side,” he added.

According to the charity Meningitis Research Foundation, young children and adolescents are most at risk from the virus, which can lead to death.

A spokesman for Meningitis Research Foundation said: “Department of Health surveys have consistently shown that it is the ‘most feared’ of all illnesses by the parents of young children in our country and each year it costs the NHS millions of pounds in medical litigation.

“A vaccine against MenB which was recommended by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on March 21, 2014, to be routinely given to children in the UK, but almost a year on there are no signs that the vaccine will become part of childhood immunisation programme anytime soon.

“Meanwhile cases of MenB continue to occur and babies, children and adults are dying and being badly disabled as a result.”

Carol has also written to Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt, and prospective parliamentary candidates about the introduction of the vaccine.

Carol added: “Anyone who agrees with me that this life-saving vaccine is taking too long to implement can make their feelings known by signing the online #WheresOurVaccine petition.”

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We are very clear that we want to see this vaccine introduced as soon as possible to help protect children from this devastating disease.

“The JCVI recommended that a MenB vaccine be introduced, but only at a cost-effective price – below the price published by Novartis. We need to make sure NHS funds are used effectively and negotiations are continuing.”

Chris Head, chief executive of the Meningitis Research Foundation said: “We hope that by Carol writing to her MP Nicholas Soames we can find out why the vaccine still hasn’t been implemented and when it will be. We will not stop until every child is protected from this disease.”

To find out more about the campaign visit www.meningitis.org/wheres-our-vaccine