A MUM whose treasured young daughter died nearly five years ago is backing a campaign to bring back a routine vaccine.

Andrea Walker lost little Ellie, who was just three, to streptococcal septicaemia – a form of blood poisoning.

She is now voicing her support for a drive to reintroduce the MenC vaccine for 12-week-old babies.

The vaccine was stopped last year after a recommendation that it was no longer required for that age group due to the success of an immunisation programme.

But campaigning for its reinstatement has come to the fore recently after the family of a Wyke baby, Kia Gott, who had to have all her limbs removed when she was struck down by meningococcal septicaemia, said had the vaccine been available her arms and legs could have been saved.

Mrs Walker, of Bar Lane, Riddlesden, said: “This is a different strain to the one Ellie contracted, but after what I went through – and still suffer – I feel very strongly and passionately about this.

“It’s something very close to my heart.

“The vaccine should be available to all children, irrespective of their age.

“I am fully supportive of the campaign.

“It will be five years next month since Ellie died, and I still feel the loss terribly.

“It’s particularly difficult at this time of year, and on birthdays and anniversaries.

“Ellie would be eight now and I often wonder what she would be like and the kind of girl she’d be growing up to be.”

She added: “I have two grandchildren, aged two and four, and I have urged my daughter to ensure they get full vaccinations.”

The Gott family is calling on the public to sign an online petition to raise the issue in parliament and bring back the MenC vaccine.

Donna Gott, a relative of Kia, said the vaccine would have saved a lot of heartbreak and NHS costs if it had been continued.

“We have almost 2,000 names on the petition so far but we need to get to 10,000 before the Government will respond.

“As far as we are concerned the sooner it is heard the better.

“We firmly believe if Kia had been given that vaccine at 12 weeks she would not have been in the situation she is in now.

“Until they bring the vaccine back for young babies they are leaving babies like Kia wide open to risks,” she said.

NHS Choices says the success of the MenC vaccination programme meant there were almost no cases of the disease in babies or young children in the UK any longer.

Anyone interesting in supporting the petition should go to petition.par liament.uk/petitions/205842. It ends on June 1 next year.