The meningitis B vaccine will be reimbursed by the National Vaccination Program starting this Thursday, October 1st. The information was released today by the Director-General of Health. The measure was provided for in the State Budget and the date set at the end of last year by the Government remained the same. The vaccine, which in recent years has been recommended by pediatricians and has represented an expense of 285 euros for families (each dose costs 95 euros in pharmacies), is now free for newborns, with effect for children born in 2019 and 2020 and have not yet taken.
The three-dose vaccination schedule is recommended at two, four and twelve months.
Graça Freitas stressed that the National Vaccination Program marks 55 years in October and has been an example of success in the country. The meningitis B vaccine, advocated by doctors for many years, is not the only novelty. The human virus papilloma vaccine, which until now has been reimbursed only for girls for the prevention of cervical cancer, is also reimbursed for boys. Over the past few years, its added value in the prevention of oral carcinomas has been demonstrated and the vaccine is also recommended by medical societies and should be taken between the ages of 10 and 12, even before sexual activity begins. It will be administered this year to boys who were born in the first half of 2009, explained Graça Freitas.
The State Budget also provided for the inclusion of the rotavirus vaccine in the National Vaccination Program, this vaccine that prevents gastroenteritis and is also recommended by pediatricians, currently costing 57 euros in pharmacies. Graça Freitas said that this vaccine will also be covered, but will only begin to be administered in early December, given that at this time health centers are running the flu vaccination campaign.
The three new PNV vaccines were approved by Parliament in 2018, in the approval of the State Budget for 2019. At the time, the decision on the sidelines of the General Directorate of Health, responsible for the National Vaccination Program, and the Ministry of Health caused controversy and vaccines vary to undergo an evaluation process by the national vaccination commission, as is the case whenever there is a decision on the introduction or exclusion of vaccines. In 2019, they were guaranteed again in the State Budget, pointing to the beginning of the contribution in the last quarter of this year.
The standard that updates the National Vaccination Program has been published in recent days and can be consulted here. For now it does not define the risk groups that will be entitled to the rotavirus vaccine. Regarding the Meningitis B vaccine, it establishes that children born from 2019 who have already started the vaccination scheme by medical prescription but have not completed it can complete it through the PNV, until the day before their fifth birthday. respecting the recommended scheme for your age.