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Tuberculosis: Vaccination

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 18 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of immunisation against tuberculosis in England. (279974)

Immunisation against tuberculosis (TB) is provided by the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination. The BCG vaccine has been shown to be 70 to 80 per cent. effective against the most severe forms of the disease, such as TB meningitis in children. It is less effective in preventing respiratory disease, which is the more common form in adults. There are few data on the effectiveness of BCG vaccination when it is given to persons aged 16 or over.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation reviewed BCG vaccination policy in 2007 and advised that its advice for a targeted at-risk vaccination programme remained appropriate.