Former Northampton Saints star Matt Dawson helps meningitis vaccination petition reach 500,000 signatures

Former Northampton Saints star Matt Dawson shared pictures of his son who battled meningitis to raise awareness of the disease and urge people to sign a petition calling for all children to be vaccinated against it on the NHS. Pic @matt9dawson

Former Northampton Saints star Matt Dawson shared pictures of his son who battled meningitis to raise awareness of the disease and urge people to sign a petition calling for all children to be vaccinated against it on the NHS. Pic @matt9dawson

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A petition calling for all children to be given the meningitis B vaccine has more than 500,000 signatures after it was backed by former Northampton Saints star Matt Dawson.

The Question of Sport captain shared pictures of his toddler son this week who battled a different strain of the disease.

Mr Dawson said the family suffered “two weeks of hell” and urged others to sign the petition calling for children up to the age of 11 to be vaccinated against the disease on the NHS.

In a series of tweets, the 43-year-old, who won the European Cup with the Saints in 200, said: “The 2 weeks of hell we’ve just had cos of meningitis. Sami lucky due to amazing people @GreatOrmondSt #vaccinateNOW.

“I must also heap praise on @ChelwestFT [Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust] for their superb A&E and recognition of Sami’s disease. We’re indebted.

“I ask one favour. Please read and sign so fewer kids suffer.”

Vaccinations are currently only available on the NHS to babies aged two to five months old - those wanting to vaccinate older children must pay privately.

The petition now has almost 600,000 signatures. Any petition that gains more than 100,000 will be considered for a debate in Parliament.