SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has welcomed the introduction of the new Men B vaccine – Bexsero – which will be given to all newborn babies in Northern Ireland from today as part of the Routine Immunisation Schedule of the NHS.
Mr Durkan, who tabled parliamentary motions and campaigned at Westminster with the charity Meningitis Now for the introduction of the new vaccine, also supported the local campaign by Tullyally parents Emma and Darren Cowey who lost their nine-month-old son Jamie to Meningitis B in November 2004.
He said: “This is a great achievement and a huge step forward in the fight against this devastating disease.
“The lives of so many families in Derry and across the North have been turned upside down by Men B.
“I am therefore delighted that today’s introduction of the new vaccine will begin to save the lives of so many babies straight away.
“I commend everyone at Meningitis Now for their compelling campaign over many years. Indeed, this great result is down to the brave and generous work of families and those who have endured Meningitis B’s worst.
“My own constituents Darren and Emma Cowey were typical of the character of the campaign that was fought – having lost their young son to Men B and wanting vaccination to spare others from that risk.”