Saturday 21 April 2018

No BCG vaccine left for babies

Problems with supply of TB vaccine
Problems with supply of TB vaccine

Parents of thousands of newborns will have to be given catch-up vaccines against TB because of problems with supply.

The HSE said it is a European-wide issue.

There is only one licensed manufacturer of BCG vaccine in the EU. This manufacturer has informed us that the BCG vaccine will not be delivered into Ireland until late July at the earliest.

The BCG vaccine stock in all areas expired at the end of April 2015. So BCG vaccination clinics in HSE clinics and maternity hospitals have been postponed until new stock arrives. HSE staff will arrange appointments for the vaccination clinics when the BCG vaccine supply is restored.

In Ireland, the number of cases of TB has been falling and there were no cases in young children in 2014.

Most European countries do not give BCG to all babies. So babies are not at risk of TB because of the delay in getting the vaccine.

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