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There were no deaths from group C meningitis among under-19s in the UK last year thanks to a national immunisation programme, a report has revealed.
Previously, meningococcal C meningitis has killed up to 78 people a year and left survivors with serious complications such as brain damage and amputations.
The report, from the UK government’s Director of Immunisation, also revealed that since the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) was introduced in 2006, it has prevented an estimated 470 cases of serious illness or deaths in young children, from causes such as meningitis, septicaemia and severe pneumonia.
Overall, the Government’s national immunisation programme has prevented well over 3,000 cases of death or serious illness, the document reveals.
The report also showed that fears over the safety of the MMR vaccine appear to have dissipated, with 73% of parents believing the vaccine is safe, compared with 63% in 2003.
The number of cases of MenC in children has fallen by 95% since introduction of the meningococcal C conjugate vaccine in 1999 – and more than 500 deaths have been prevented.
The report also said that just over 85% of children now receive one dose of MMR vaccine by their second birthday.
The flu vaccine programme for 2006-7 reached 74% of people aged 65 and over in England and there were no delays with the vaccine supply.
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