Meningitis C vaccine supplies for UK freshers run out
The Department of Health has reported that supplies of the meningitis C vaccine in the United Kingdom have been quickly depleted, resulting in thousands of first year university students leaving home without immunisation. The Department of Health had recommended that 500 000 first year university students be immunised against meningitis C, but general practitioners nationwide have reported that the initiative has been marred by an inadequate supply of the vaccine.
The risk of contracting the illness is thought to be highest in the first two weeks of term; the Department of Health has therefore deemed it essential that new students have adequate protection.
The government has accepted that production of the vaccine could not meet the overwhelming demand; the manufacturer of the vaccine, SmithKline Beecham, has had to cope with a production target 100-times greater than normal and has so far produced 405 000 doses with a further 500 000