DUP MP David Simpson has welcomed the announcement by Health Minister Jeremy Hunt that a deal has been reached with drug manufacturer, GSK, to provide a Meningitis B vaccine for all UK babies.
The news comes after months of lobbying and negotiations around the price of the drug.
Mr Simpson commented: “I am delighted that the vaccine will be made available for all UK babies. I personally have been to the fore in lobbying Minister Hunt at Westminster, and am delighted that a vaccine will be rolled out this year - easing the worries of parents. The stand-off over price was totally unacceptable when children were at risk from this dreaded disease.
“This is welcome news from Westminster and, given that this decision was imminent, I met with Minister Wells last week. He gave his personal commitment that, upon approval from Westminster, his Department were ready and waiting to implement it as quickly as possible.
“Whilst the vaccine has been available privately in the UK, this deal will mean the jab is offered as part of a routine childhood vaccination programme, leaving parents much more confident and safe in the knowledge that our children are protected.
“I would thank Minister Hunt, commend him for his actions, and now ask for the consideration of the inclusion of older children in this agreement. That is our next battle and I, for one, will not be found wanting.”