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GPs in Wales to vaccinate babies against meningitis B

GPs in Wales will administer vaccinations against meningitis B to every baby in the country after the Welsh government announced £7.7m of funding.

The vaccine will be added to the national childhood immunisation programme in Wales and will be administered by GPs alongside other routine vaccinations.

Babies will receive the first meningitis B injection at two months old, with two further doses to follow.

The decision follows last month’s confirmation of a UK-wide deal between the government and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), who manufacture the jab.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended last year that every child over two months old should be given the vaccine, but the agreement was delayed by negotiations over the cost.

Welsh health and social services minister Mark Drakeford said: ‘These negotiations mean we have now secured a meningitis B vaccine, which will benefit the health of all babies in Wales. Now a price has been agreed we will work to make this vaccination available as soon as practicable.’

GSK, who acquired the Bexsero vaccine from Novartis in early March, said its agreement with the UK Government offers ‘fair value for the NHS and allows a reasonable return for GSK to ensure that we can continue to invest in creating new treatments and vaccines’.