TB immunisation not routine in schools

SOME district health authorities have stopped immunising school children against tuberculosis, despite government advice to continue because of a rise in the number of cases and uncertainty about the disease, writes Liz Hunt.

A survey of 186 districts in England and Wales found that 15 had stopped offering the TB vaccination in schools altogether. Thirty- one districts had no policy for the immunisation of newborn babies.

A report, in tomorrow's issue of the British Medical Journal, by scientists at the Public Health Laboratory Service, says that the incidence of TB had, until recently, been falling for the past 100 years.

However, small increases in the incidence of TB were reported in 1988 and 1989. The disease is increasingly common in Aids patients, and because of 'uncertainties about the effect of interaction between HIV and tuberculosis,', the Government's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended, in 1990, that schools' immunisation should continue for at least another five years.

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