It seems lie that we continue giving news of deaths in children by meningitis B and vaccine follow practically disappeared. Although it is most common in young children, the latter has been of a girl of 9 years of Manresa who was diagnosed with meningitis hours before his death. It was fulminant: symptoms began at noon Thursday, he entered the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu de Manresa at two in the afternoon and died at 4 a.m. of the following day.
It is the second death in Catalonia by meningococcal meningitis in 15 days (last week killed a two-year-old boy in Girona). The logical concern for parents, has made that you trip the demand for the vaccine arriving months ago with account drops to pharmacies.
Alarm vs. concern
Media talk a lot not to create “alarm”, but which parents are not alarmarían to learn of cases like this. Meningitis B is given in very few cases, but can touch, and if you touch is very serious. According to the EPA, affects between 400-600 people each year, has a mortality rate is 10 per cent and 30 per cent of those affected remains with any neurological sequela.
In Spain, 48 cases have occurred in the last six months. Parents fear is logical and justified, even taking into account that Bexsero meningitis vaccine is not included in the schedule of immunizations, due to a lack of coordination between different administrations, and gets out in pharmacies.
Let’s not forget, Furthermore, that not all families can afford it due to its high cost. Three doses are required and each costing 106 euros. (In my case, with three girls, take account, 954 EUR)
Eight months waiting lists
From October 1, 2015, the Bexsero vaccine is put up for sale the vaccine at pharmacies so that parents could buy it, but get it was from the beginning almost mission impossible.
Just 11 days ago, the Ministry of health has announced that the meningitis B vaccine supply was resettled in pharmacies. They said that several batches involving a total of 230,000 new doses would be available. However, the mismatch between demand and supply remains abysmal and the new doses are not enough to meet the late orders.
However, the pharmacies report waiting lists of up to eight months to get the meningitis vaccine. The average is 6-8 months, although in some cases it extends to more than one year. In a pharmacy are asking some 30 doses a day, and what comes a month are between 8 and 12.
Since the process of production of the vaccine, manufactured by the laboratory GSK, is long and priority is given to the supply to countries such as United Kingdom and Italy, where the vaccine is included in the official calendar of vaccination, doses arriving in Spain are insufficient.
A vaccine that should be funded
What can parents do? It is logical that worry when our pediatrician recommended us vaccination of children (the ASP includes it in its recommendations for vaccination of 2017), but pharmacies don’t have enough supply to meet the demand.
If the vaccine was included in Spanish immunization schedules, manufacturers would give him priority to supply it and the shortage we have today would not occur. Apart from that it would end with inequality, since it is not an affordable vaccine for most families.
Due to the difficulty to get the vaccine, I explained some time ago what you can do if you only get a dose.