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Father Fights To Raise Awareness For Meningitis Vaccine

Update Date: Feb 15, 2017 08:57 AM EST

Father of the little girl who died from meningitis started a nationwide petition for more children to be given the vaccine. Meningitis is a serious infection that can lead to severe brain damage, sepsis and death. One year after Faye Burdett's death, her father Neil said the government has done nothing to raise awareness of the disease after promising to do so.

Neil and his wife Jenny decided last Valentine's Day to turn off their daughter's life support as her body was ravaged by sepsis caused by meningitis. They photos of Faye covered in rashes prompted more than 820,000 people to sign a petition for the meningitis B vaccine "Bexsero" to be given to all children.

According to Daily Mail, former public health minister Jane Ellison pledged to launch an awareness campaign for parents on the signs of meningitis last April. The government also agreed to release its cost-modeling for vaccines.

The government said making the vaccine more widely available was not a good use of money. They have not released calculations on how vaccines are deemed to be affordable and no campaign was released.

After appearing before health officials on the Petitions Committee last March, Burdett has heard nothing from them. The decision not to extend the vaccine to more age groups was insulting and devastating he said.

Burdett said "Children under five are vulnerable to meningitis and they can't tell you exactly what is happening. They are solely reliant on their parents and carers to spot that something is wrong."

Bexsero is available on the NHS for babies as early as two months and is free for babies born after May 1, 2015. Parents must pay privately if they wish to have older children vaccinated according to Express.

Burdett said they also promised to include a page on meningitis symptoms in the red book given to parents of newborns. But this too had not yet been done.

The charity Meningitis Research Foundation estimated that 400 cases of meningitis B among children up to 5 years-old could have been prevented if they had been given access to the vaccine.

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