MUM’S PLEA FOR VACCINATIONS
FOUR families whose lives have been devastated by meningitis today call on the penny-pinching Government to change a moneysaving vaccinations policy and immunise ALL children under 18.
They believe their heartbreaking stories should shame the Tories into scrapping cut-off dates that mean children older than three do not qualify for an NHS jab against the deadly B strain of the disease.
It means an estimated 11 MILLION youngsters are currently unvaccinated as only babies born after the introduction of the anti-MenB Bexsero vaccine in May 2015 have been given inoculation on the NHS.
The Government says it would not be a “cost-effective” use of NHS cash to give all older children the jab retrospectively.
But grieving mum Kirsty Ermenekli has a message for them.
She and husband Ricky, both 33, had to watch six-year-old daughter Layla-Rose die of MenB. Kirsty storms: “The Government is putting a price on kids’ lives when no child’s life should come with a price.
“It terrifies me knowing how many lives are at risk. I wouldn’t want my worst enemy going through what we did that horrendous night.”
Layla-Rose died of sepsis in February last year at Royal Oldham Hospital just 24 hours after falling ill.
Haunted Kirsty says: “I picture it just before I go to sleep every night – the pillow being moved from her head as they started resuscitating her.
“I was in shock. I screamed. I thought, ‘This can’t be happening to Layla.’ I was trying to wake myself up thinking it was a nightmare.
“I didn’t get a chance to tell her I loved her, to say goodbye.”
Kirsty wishes she could turn back the clock and pay for the £220 jab the Government denied her daughter.
“Had I known there was a vaccine available I’d make myself skint to do it,” she says.
Her three eldest have since been inoculated on the NHS because of what happened to their sister.
Nearly 700 children and teenagers aged over a year have contracted meningitis B since May 2015 – ending lives and leaving some survivors maimed for life.
Among then was Faye Burdett who died aged two on Valentine’s Day, 2016. Her parents Neil and Jenny, of Maidstone, Kent, released harrowing photos of the toddler ravaged by the disease as she fought for life in hospital. They had to make the heartbreaking decision to turn off her life support, after an 11-day fight for life.
An e-petition had been launched for the vaccine to be given to all children in the UK – at least up to the age of 11. And within days of tragic Faye’s pictures being published, it had 820,000 signatures, making it the most signed in Downing Street history.
But the Department of Health stood firm. It said it was following guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation ( JCVI).
A 2014 British Medical Journal report revealed the cost to the NHS of immunising only infants would be
Kirsty and Ricky want jabs for every child after losing Layla-Rose, left