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Meningitis after getting vaccine

MagazineAugust 2000 (Vol. 11 Issue 5)Meningitis after getting vaccine

I have a friend whose daughter died of meningitis, so when the meningitis C vaccine came out, I wanted to have it for my son, Euen, who was 20 months at the time

I have a friend whose daughter died of meningitis, so when the meningitis C vaccine came out, I wanted to have it for my son, Euen, who was 20 months at the time. We went to the doctor to get the jab on a Monday, March 23. Ten days later, the following Friday, I noticed that Euen was looking pale on the sofa and complaining of a headache. I gave him some Calpol and put him to bed, checking on him every few hours. He complained of his head hurting and a temperature, and didn't want to go into a lighted room.

Within a half hour, he couldn't move his neck and had the characteristic pinprick rash, so I rushed him to hospital. I knew by that time what he had.

They immediately gave him a lumbar puncture and started him on antibiotics. I didn't allow myself to think what might happen, but just stayed there dealing with it minute by minute. Thank God he pulled through and, five days later, he was able to come home.

The doctors diagnosed it as streptococcal meningitis, and claimed it had nothing to do with the jab. But I don't believe them.

I know that we all harbour meningococcal bugs, and I wonder whether the jab somehow lowered his immune system so that he would be more prone to getting another form of it.

Although the doctor says that the meningitis C vaccine had nothing to do with it, I have been advised not to give Euen any further boosters of it.

Euen had fits at the time and, when he returned home from hospital, he didn't sleep for a long time. He'd wake up every 20 minutes screaming.

Even now, three months later, there are still some effects. Occasionally, he goes blank and I find him staring into the corner.

A friend of my mother's baby has had eczema since having the jab.

A lot of us would like to have been given more information before we consented to having the jab. Even my friend whose daughter died. She refused the vaccine for her other child because she felt that it was too untried and untested, and she knew that meningitis C is difficult to catch.

After my experience, I think she's glad she did. FC M, South Norwood.......

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