UK could soon have medical shops selling the first vaccine to cure the deadly meningitis B, which kills nearly 120 people annually, half of whom are under-five years of age.
4CMenB vaccine is expected to be a boon for treating the 'hard to diagnose and swift to kill' disease which leaves around 250 children with serious lifelong complications such as limb amputations, blindness, deafness and brain damage.
Latest research presented at the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases in The Hague, found that 4CMenB vaccine guarded against about 80 pc of 1,000 meningitis B strains from across Europe.
The results of the vaccine test done on 1,800 children showed that 4CMenB worked well alone or with vaccines for other strains.
A further study on 1,500 toddlers found that it offered protection when given as a booster jab, while another showed an immune response in adolescents.
"The results are an exciting and very positive step in the fight to eradicate meningitis B, which is the biggest killer of all types of meningitis in the UK," the Daily Mail quoted Steve Dayman, of the Meningitis UK charity as saying."
"This vaccine is the first of its kind and has the potential to save thousands of lives," he added.
Developed by Novartis, 4CMenB vaccine could be approved by Christmas, when doctors could prescribe it for individual patients and it could be bought privately.