This week is a good week for vaccines. Indeed it is a good week for society, at least in Europe, for we have just got word that the European Medicines Agency has approved Novartis's Meningitis B vaccine and it could now be available in the UK as early as next year, if licensed here. *Novartis are currently working with the US authorities at getting it approved*
This vaccine, targeting Neisseria meningitidis group B bacteria (B subgroup causes the most problems in industrialised countries) is reported to be around 70% effective against the horrible and often deadly disease. It's roll out across the UK and Europe should save the lives and prevent the permanent damage that follows meningitis and septicemia. That's great, sure, but as scientists and people interested in public health, how the heck did they achieve this feat?