Men B & Men W vaccinations

Hi - This morning I had my final booster jab of Men B, a month after I had both the initial jab in September along with the single dose of Men W.

Having read all the press releases, watched the TV coverage and having been severely ill in hospital with Meningoencephalitis (4 years ago), I decided to check around to see if I should protect my self by having these two inoculations.

I wrote to my neurologist and my immunologist for their professional opinions, and spent many weeks deciding the best action for me.

I knew at 65 years old that I wasn't going to get these vaccines on the NHS although, it might have been possible for me to have the Men W done under a Travel Vaccine apparently.

So, the final cost was £325.00 but worth every penny if it protected me from having this awful illness, being hospitalised again and maybe even worse.

I wonder how many of you have also decided to take up the offer - either on the NHS or privately - and have the vaccinations?

I look forward to hearing from you. Stay well.

6 Replies

  • I have just had my two daughters vaccinated against men b voluntarily. Not covered under the Australian immunisation register (only meningococcal C). Was AUS$540 for both daughters, including booster, and to me worth every cent.

    So glad you survived your illness. I can understand you doing everything you can to protect yourself. I am more aware now after loosing my mum to pnemuniccocal meningitis this year. What is the men W vaccine?

  • Hi Schmooschmoo - thanks for your response and I agree totally with your sentiments about getting your daughters protected.

    I have 'Copied and Pasted' from our NHS website, which I hope will download OK with you, what the Meningitis W virus and its vaccine is all about:

    There has been a big drive nationally in the UK over the summer, to make people aware of the Meningitis W virus, as it is becoming more widespread. It seems to affect teenagers and young adults mainly so, those going off to college or university. However, as we know Meningitis doesn't stick to the rules and it can, and will, target anyone.

    Has there been no mention of it in Oz then?

    How old are your daughters? I only ask as I'd like to know if they also had a sore arm for almost two whole weeks after their Men C jab? Apparently, it a very normal and common side-effect :)

    Take care and thanks for replying.

  • Hi Covenham,

    Thanks for the info. I was able to access the webpage. Great to hear the UK are covering the 5 most common meningitis strains. I take it that the A, C, W, Y vaccine replaces the men C vaccine with the Men B vaccine administered seperately? In Australia only Men C is covered for children under government funding. Men B is available privately for all ages, so my girls have had both men c and men B vaccine. There is not a big take up here for men B vaccine because it is not widely advertised. The Australian medical board really fail us in that regard. Our media are happy to tell us what the Kardashians had for dinner, I wish we lived in a world where the 5 min closing news segments touched briefly on topics that could actually help our lives. my girls are only 2 and 3 so they couldn't tell us if they were sore and I didn't test the injection site myself. Thanks for sharing the extra info.

  • Hi Schmooschmoo, I see part of your post has been answered by the Administrator, which is good as she will have covered it far better than I ever could - hope it helped :)

    I had to smile at your comments about the Australian media coverage though, as it took me back to my time living in Sydney in the mid 80's, which I have to tell you that my family and I absolutely loved.

    Yes, we (my husband and I) often remarked on how disconnected we often felt from the rest of the world when it came to the nightly news.

    It's interesting how three decades on and you've made a similar statement. It's still a great country and a great place to live though - where about are you?

  • Hi Covenham & admistrator,

    I have heard of different strains of meningitis. In Australia the main strain of meningitis was type C but due to the national childhood immunisation program, type C is almost eradicated. Strain B is now the primary cause of meningitis in our country which is why I chose to have my children immunised privately and why I'm surprised the Australian government have not included bexsero men B vaccine for all children via government funding.

    I live in Sydney. Love the country and people, we seem to have a childish obsession with celebrities in the media and national news coverage is quite dismal at times unfortunately :). We also don't have a meningitis support body here. I'm not sure what/who the survivors turn to (perhaps just their doctors), but after loosing my mum to pneumococcal meningitis, I was looking for some answers as the medical team in hospital seemed to know very little.

  • For anyone reading about meningitis vaccines from outside the UK:

    Different countries have different patterns of disease. For example meningococcal group B is currently the main cause of meningococcal meningitis in the UK, though there has been a recent rise in cases caused by group W - hence the recent introduction of the MenACWY vaccine in the UK. However this may not be the case in other countries e.g. in sub Saharan Africa, meningococcal group A is the most common cause (and very rare in the UK).

    This is why different countries may recommend different vaccines in their vaccine schedule.

    If in doubt, consult a health care professional to discuss which vaccines are recommended in your own country.

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