Over 96% of babies under one year of age in Malaga province have had the first two doses of the vaccine against meningitis B (Bexsero) since December. The vaccine, which is free of charge, was added to the vaccination calendar in October last year. Babies have the first dose when they are two months old, the second at four months and the third at 15 months.
By province in Andalucía, Cordoba has the highest rate of this vaccination (99.2 per cent), followed by Jaén (98.5), Cadiz (98.3), Almería (97.8), Granada (97.1), Huelva (97), Sevilla (96.7) and Malaga (96.3). The cost to the Andalusian Health Service is 11 million euros a year.
The vaccine prevents meningitis which is caused by a bacteria called meningococcus B, which mainly affects children under five years of age, has a 10-20% mortality rate and 30% incidence of permanent damage (psychomotor impairment, epilepsy, amputations, etc.). It is the most common type of childhood meningitis in Europe.