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The call for a meningitis vaccine will lead to MPs debating whether they should be given to all children Reuters

A petition calling for all children to be vaccinated against meningitis has attracted 665,000 signatures, the most in British parliamentary history.

The support follows the images of two-year-old Faye Burdett, dying on 14 February from meningitis B after 11 days with the deadly illness.

Lee Booth, 44, started the petition after he was told one of his daughters was too old to have tha vaccine on the NHS.

He said it would now be difficult for the Government to ignore the groundswell of support to vaccinate all children up to at least the age of 11, the Daily Mirror reported. A petition of more than 100,000 people triggers a parliamentary debate.

Many families desperate to get the vaccine have called clinics while parents trying to have their children vaccinated privately have exhausted stocks of the jab, Bexsero.

The vaccine is available on the NHS only to newborns. All babies are offered the vaccine routinely on the NHS at two, four and 12 months.

Calls to expand the programme grew further after the parents of a seven-year-old boy released pictures of him cradled in their arms shortly before he died of meningitis.

Mason Timmins had told his mother, Clare, that he felt ill and he died less than 24 hours later. She urged parents to be alert to other symptoms.

The Department of Health said that the immunisation programme was based on clinical recommendations.

A spokesman said: "When our nationwide MenB vaccination programme was introduced last year, the UK became the first country to protect our babies from this devastating disease. All children who are now aged up to nine months should have been offered the vaccine," the Daily Telegraph reported.