Birmingham & Black Country

Meningitis B: Walsall mother wants vaccine for all children

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Media captionPlea from mum of boy who lost limbs to meningitis B

A mother whose son's limbs were amputated after he contracted meningitis is calling on the government to vaccinate all children under five.

Julie Tuckley, from Walsall, has been campaigning for the meningitis B vaccine since her son, four-year-old Tommy, was diagnosed as a baby.

Although it's now available to newborns on the NHS, her younger daughter is not eligible because she is too old.

Health officials say vaccination for all children is "not cost-effective".

The vaccine is available for newborns who are born from 1 April 2015. But Jorgie missed out because she was born a month earlier.

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When she came up in a rash at five-months-old, her mother was terrified.

Image caption Jorgie missed out on receiving the vaccine because she was born a month before it was made available on the NHS

"Straight away they [doctors] were pumping needles into her, obviously for meningitis, to be safe. But it just cracked me up."

When Tommy was born, there was no vaccine available on the NHS for meningitis B. He contracted the infection when he was five-months-old.

"Its devastating. I'm a mother of five children and our whole family has been affected by it," said Ms Tuckley.

Image caption From 1 April 2015, all newborns will receive the meningitis B vaccine

Luckily Jorgie's rash was a false alarm. But this encouraged Ms Tuckley to campaign for all children under-fives to be given the vaccine.

A petition of more than over 800,000 signatures supporting this was rejected by the government.

However, parents can pay for the vaccine privately.

Image caption Julie Tuckley says she cannot afford the vaccine for her daughter

"They're charging hundreds of pounds and I just can't afford it," said Ms Tuckley.

She aims to continue campaigning in the hope that the government will reconsider its decision.

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