Kent

Meningitis B vaccine blow for parents of Faye Burdett

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Media captionJen and Neil Burdett's two-year-old daughter Faye died from Meningitis B

The parents of a toddler who died from meningitis B have criticised the government for rejecting a campaign to protect all under-fives with a vaccine.

Neil and Jenny Burdett, from Maidstone, gathered over 800,000 signatures on an e-petition after sharing harrowing pictures of their daughter, Faye, who died in February.

Despite having the backing of many MPs, ministers rejected the plea.

The government said it would develop a new national awareness campaign.

Faye died on Valentine's Day after an 11-day fight.

Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire show, Mr Burdett said the government "did not listen" to the campaign.

'Vulnerable'

Image copyright Just Giving
Image caption Faye Burdett was taken to A&E with a rash on her forehead but died days later
Image copyright PA
Image caption Neil and Jenny Burdett gave evidence to the Petitions Committee in Parliament

He said: "We feel a lot of evidence was given and a lot of people backed us, from MPs to the professionals, but for some reason the answer they gave at the end of all that was the same as the one at the beginning.

"Under-fives are so vulnerable, the only thing you can do is vaccinate them. That is the best protection."

And Mrs Burdett said: "We used the system that was put in place by the government to voice everyone's opinion and let them know what everyday people want.

"We used the petition to the best of its ability and it was the best petition that has ever been raised."

A Department of Health spokeswoman said Public Health England had been asked to develop a new national awareness campaign, working closing with charities.

She said: "It is the intention to roll this out before the peak of meningitis cases this winter.

"While nothing can make up for the loss of a child, this new campaign will build on the awareness already raised by the families who have bravely spoken out about this terrible disease."

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