Neonatal bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) immunisation is a primary preventive measure against tuberculosis. Local health professionals expressed concern about the variability of knowledge regarding eligible infants and uptake of the vaccine. A questionnaire was sent out to health visitors for use at the routine visit to babies. Details requested included ethnic group and country of origin of the infant, eligibility for BCG vaccination, and vaccination status. BCG vaccination was indicated for 41% of newborns. In total 74% of these eligible infants received the vaccine with a range of 36-83% between the five maternity units. There were inconsistencies within maternity units in identifying high-risk groups by ethnicity and country of origin, resulting in low coverage in certain eligible groups. Confusion exists about which infants are at risk of tuberculosis and should be vaccinated. Current national guidelines are not specific enough for cases of interracial parenting and for the increasingly diverse countries of origin of the population. In the absence of clearer national guidelines there is a need for pragmatic local guidance.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Communicable Disease and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|