Bexsero vaccine (meningitis B) Seizures Meningitis
Furious couple claim their son started suffering from 14 seizures a day after having a meningitis jab
By Zara Rubin For Mailonline
13 December 2016
A furious couple claim their son began suffering up to 14 violent fits a day after having a new meningitis jab – and have shared shocking footage of his seizures.
Luke Maguire, 26, and Louise McKever, 22, say they have made more than 55 hospital visits since their 10-month-old son Bobby's immunisations this summer.
The Bexsero Meningitis B vaccination has been given to all babies in the UK since September 2015, but seizures are known to be an uncommon side effect.
But the first-time parents, from Ashington, Northumberland, say it has also left their son suffering from stomach problems, night terrors and allergies.
Since releasing a clip of their son suffering from a fit to social media, it has notched up more than 1.8 million views and 27,500 shares.
Luke Maguire and Louise McKever claim the Men B jab caused their 10-month-old son Bobby (pictured) to have 'daily convulsions', stomach problems, night terrors and allergies
Bobby is currently undergoing tests for a complex genetic epilepsy disorder to confirm the link.
However, an expert in the condition who watched the footage said it was unlikely his fits were vaccine-related.
The Government's regulatory body also said there was 'insufficient evidence' to suggest an association between the Meningitis B vaccine and seizures.
Father-of-one Mr Maguire said: 'This vaccination shouldn't be given to young babies - it is ruining their lives before they even start.
'The doctors need to do something. Parents should be told the risks and allowed to make up their own minds. They have the right to know, this is about their children.
'From the moment Bobby started having seizures I knew it was from the vaccinations. He was such a happy baby and it has ruined his life.'
He added: 'The same day Bobby had his eight week vaccinations he got body twitches, his temperature suddenly spiked and he went floppy and unresponsive.
'I have promised myself I am going to make sure no other parents have to go through what we have gone through and no other children go through what Bobby does.
'Most people wouldn't speak out for fear of being labelled crazy but I have to say something for other parents. If a child died and I hadn't said anything, I couldn't live with myself.
'We are only basing our actions on what we see has happened to our son - not what anyone else says, but how Bobby has changed.'
Bobby underwent his first dose of the Bexsero Meningitis B vaccine at eight weeks old before having his second dose of the immunisation aged 16 weeks.
The couple said they became concerned as soon as he left the clinic where he had his 16-week jabs.
'This shouldn't be given to young babies - it is ruining their lives before they even start,' said Mr Maguire (pictured with Bobby)
They were forced to call 999 because they woke up and he was gasping for air, blue in the face and experiencing full body twitches.
Within just ten days, the seizures started. He was having an average of between four and seven a day.
Bobby is now on medication to control his seizures and has not had one for four weeks, with the fits now only happening if he is run down or sleep-deprived.
His parents claim CT, MRI and EEG scans and blood tests to find the cause of the fits have all come back negative and are currently awaiting test results for a complex genetic epilepsy disorder.
The jab has been given to children at eight weeks, 16 weeks and one year old since September last year as part of the routine vaccinations offered free of charge on the NHS to all children in the UK.
Almost 8,000 people, including more than 5,000 babies and toddlers were given the vaccine during clinical trials to test its safety.
It provides 73 per cent protection against Meningitis B, which affects nearly 1,900 children each year.
But the Bexsero patient information leaflet states uncommon side effects for infants and children can include high fever, seizures including febrile seizures, vomiting and skin rashes.
An expert who watched the footage of Bobby's fit said he is having a tonic-clonic seizure, which could be a symptom of a rare genetic condition - Dravet syndrome - or another early-age brain disorder.
Miss McKever said: 'When Bobby has a seizure it is heartbreaking to watch - I wish I could take it away. But despite everything he has gone through he is the happiest baby and he is always smiling.
'Since he was a newborn I have always been so protective of him but after this happened we are both even more protective.
'We give him love, attention and 24-hour care. We are going to fight for our son and not stop, like any other parents would.'
In 2013, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said 'routine infant or toddler immunisation using Bexsero is highly unlikely to be cost effective' and the jab's efficacy had not been established.
But the committee's final position statement the following year changed this view after pricing negotiations, instead recommending Bexsero should be included in the NHS immunisation schedule.
A spokesman for the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said: 'The safety of the Meningitis B vaccine has been thoroughly investigated in clinical trials and since then we estimate that over 1.4 million doses of the vaccine have been given in the UK.
'There is currently insufficient evidence to suggest an association between the Meningitis B vaccine and seizures.
'The safety profile of the vaccine is as expected and raises no safety concerns. MHRA keeps the safety of Bexsero, as with all medicines, under continuous review.'
A spokesman for GSK, who manufacture the Bexsero vaccine, said: 'We've recently heard of this case.
'We extend our sympathy to the baby's family. The cause of his symptoms have not been established and no additional information is available at this time.
'We are actively seeking more information and will work closely with the relevant authorities to establish the details of what has happened as quickly as possible.'
To make a donation to Bobby's fundraising page go to: https://www.gofundme.com/help-bobby-maguireseizures-vaccine