Halesworth family campaign for vaccination programme
- Credit: Archant
The parents of a six-year-old boy, who died from Meningitis B, are campaigning for a vaccination programme to be rolled out to all children.
Oliver Hall, whose family are from Halesworth, died in the early hours of Tuesday, October 24, just hours after being admitted to James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston.
The youngster died in hospital within 24 hours of falling ill, despite the best efforts of staff who “did everything they could” to save his life – but the bacterial infection had already become too much for his body to withstand.
Since Oliver’s unexpected death, Bryan and Georgie Hall have been working with Meningitis Now, a charity dedicated to raising awareness about meningitis and campaigning for the wider availability of vaccines.
The meningitis B vaccine has been available as part of NHS routine for babies under 12 months since September 2015. However, the charity argues that a vaccine for everyone would be cost-effective in comparison to the later treatment that is required after the infection is contracted.
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With Mr and Mrs Hall calling on the government to widen its vaccination programme, Mrs Hall said: “The government are saying it is not cost effective to vaccinate more children against this disease. Meningitis Now, the charity that we are working with, are arguing that point. Our main goal is to help Meningitis Now to get this vaccination rolled out to more children.”
Last month Mrs Hall met with MPs and other families, who have suffered with children dying from meningitis, in Parliament to raise further awareness. Mrs Hall said: “On the back of this meeting, they are looking into setting up a working party with the main aim of looking into the cost effectiveness of the vaccine and rolling it out to children. That is a positive step.”
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The Halls are liaising with Suffolk Coastal MP, Therese Coffey, and are hopeful of meeting with the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt. Mrs Hall said: “Oliver achieved so much in his short life. He will always be remembered and so we have set up the Oliver Hall Forever Fund tribute website, which is supporting Meningitis Now. More than £4,000 has been raised so far – and we are really grateful to everyone for their donations and support.
“To see that total going up makes it feel that Oliver’s life was not in vain.”
With the fund dedicated to the memory of Oliver Hall, you can donate or consider creating a fundraising event at his tribute page.