The body that advises the government on immunisation policy has been asked to re-look at vaccinating children up to the age of two against meningitis B.
The revelation came as MPs heard evidence from medical experts and charities ahead of a Parliamentary debate on the subject, following the death of Shepway two-year-old Faye Burdett who lost her fight to the killer disease on Valentine’s Day.
Since then more than 820,000 people signed the petition asking for older children to be vaccinated against the killer disease, making it the most supported in UK history.
Currently only under 1s are eligible.
Last week Faye's parents Jenny and Neil appeared before the Petitions Committee to share their own tragic experience of meningitis and call for the jab to be rolled out to at least children under 5.
In front of the same panel today, Professor Andrew Pollard, chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation told MPs he had been asked by Jane Ellison, the Minister for Public Health, to reconsider whether the NHS should vaccinate those up to the age of two against the strain.
But he said that the current immunisation programme was only just deemed to be cost-effective and that four million extra doses would be needed to protect under 5s in a catch-up programme.
Prof Pollard added: “Most of the cases and deaths occur in one to two-year-olds so the biggest benefit would be by extending it to that age group.”
The cost effective price per dose of the jab is somewhere between £2-20.
The debate will be held in the House of Commons on April 25.