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Andrew Anderson reports from Aberdeen
"Family and friends have been given antibiotics"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Meningitis plea after boy's death
Vaccination
A Scotland-wide inoculation programme is under way
Health officials are trying to reassure parents following the death of a 14-year-old boy four days after he was inoculated against a strain of meningitis.

Keith McGregor received the injection at Inverurie Academy last Wednesday, 22 March, as part of a national inoculation programme against meningitis C.

He played football on Saturday but complained of feeling ill and died on Sunday within two hours of waking up with a rash.

Public health experts have said that Keith, who lived in Pitcaple and was the youngest of three children, could not have died from a medical reaction to the jab.

Dr Jon Cresswell, from Grampian Health Board, said the meningitis C vaccine could not cause even a mild case of the condition and that it had an excellent safety record.


Keith McGregor
Keith McGregor: Developed rash before dying
He said that insufficient time would have passed to allow antibodies against the C-strain to develop and urged parents to continue allowing their children to be vaccinated against the virus.

The immunisation programme launched last November is one of the biggest undertaken in Scotland, where 10 lives were claimed by meningitis C in 1998.

Youngsters in high-risk category between the ages of 15 and 17 were the first to be immunised because of a shortage of the vaccine, which was new on the market last year.

It is being phased in among other age groups throughout this year.

A research group was set up in 1998 to explore ways of introducing a possible Scotland-wide vaccination programme.

It had input from the Scottish Executive, public health groups, GP representatives, the education sector and medical experts.

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See also:

28 Mar 00 | Health
Meningitis cases fall
15 Nov 99 | Scotland
Meningitis programme under way
27 Oct 99 | Scotland
Meningitis jabs for Scots
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