Some of you may remember that in 2014 I raised around £1900 for Meningitis Now by trekking the eight highest peaks in the Lake District. And for those who have been keeping an eagle eye on our Twitter feed, you’ll know that I’ve just returned from Patagonia. My trip to Argentina was in order to provide medical cover on a charity expedition in which 32 intrepid souls trekked to some of the highest and most remote spots in Patagonia. All had one purpose, to continue fundraising for Meningitis Now.
On that trip I met several individuals with heart-wrenching tales to tell. Those who had personally suffered from the disease. And those who had lost a loved one – a husband, a daughter. It was humbling to see how, despite possibly lacking the requisite physical fitness, mental strength, in pursuit of a common goal, was sufficient to achieve an objective that, in a couple of participants, I thought was unobtainable. The group have so far raised in excess of £163,000.
Recent media stories have highlighted why Meningitis Now (click here for their website) need to continue their research and campaigning. Firstly, was the tragic story of Faye Burdett (click here) who lost her fight against Meningitis B. Then, ex-England rugby union player and TV personality Matt Dawson, published details of his son’s Meningitis C infection (click here)
Recently, after tireless campaigning by Meningitis Now, the Meningitis B vaccine has been added to the NHS immunisation schedule. However, this only covers newborn infants who receive the vaccine at 2, 3 and 4 months. These two high profile cases have led for calls for the vaccination programme to be extended to all children up until the age of eleven. We would be very grateful if you would click on this link and sign the petition which will ensure this matter is debated in parliament.
It is possible to receive the Bexsero vaccine privately and, given the media coverage, we have received many requests to administer it in the past few days. Sadly, there is currently a shortage of the vaccine which is anticipated to last until summer (see here). We will monitor the situation and keep everyone informed of any changes in vaccine availability on social media. As soon as it is freely available, we will happily vaccinate all those who express interest. Unfortunately, until that point, our hands are tied. Let’s hope for good news soon……………