Paracetamol administration with Meningococcal B (Men B) vaccine

On September 1st the new national Meningococcal B (Men B) immunisation programme for infants began. As administration of Men B vaccine when given with other routine primary vaccines often produces a fever, Public Health England recommend that infants are given a 60mg prophylactic dose of paracetamol at the time or soon after vaccination plus two further doses at intervals of 4-6 hours.

As this is new advice in relation to vaccine administration, in the short term, sachets of paracetamol have been made available to GP practices via ImmForm as well as the Men B vaccine. This allows the nurse administering the first MenB vaccine to also administer /supply the first dose of paracetamol when the parent is not able to purchase paracetamol . Parents / carers should then be advised to buy paracetamol to allow administration of the two further doses.  However, some GP practices report that they have been unable to access the paracetamol sachets from ImmForm. This has led to practices wanting to prescribe paracetamol for infants or buying in stocks from other sources. The costs of paracetamol obtained in this way will not be reimbursed.

The advice from PHE is clear that parents / carers are responsible for obtaining and administering the paracetamol and it should not be prescribed.

Detailed advice is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/meningococcal-b-vaccine-information-for-healthcare-professionals

Information Leaflets for parents are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/menb-vaccine-and-paracetamol

Actions:

  • Do not prescribe paracetamol liquid for infants who are receiving Men B vaccination
  • Order liquid paracetamol through ImmForm – Note: supplies are currently capped at 1 box (12 sachets) per week per account.
  • ONLY supply/administer the advised dose of paracetamol using the Immfom sachets with the first MenB  vaccine IF the parent(s) are unable to purchase liquid paracetamol.  
  • Where sachets of paracetamol are unavailable parents or carers should be advised to buy their own liquid paracetamol and administer as soon as possible.
  • Ensure the parent / carer is given the information leaflet explaining  administration of paracetamol.

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