Govt cuts back on TB vaccine

Barbados, which is considered a low-burdened tuberculosis (TB) country, says it will no longer be administering the  Bacilla Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccine to all children in Barbados.

Effective January next year, the vaccine will only be administered to children at risk of exposure to TB before the age of five, the Ministry of Health announced in a statement issued today by the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS).

It assured that the risk of children coming into contact with persons with pulmonary TB here was extremely low, given that the annual number of reported cases was less than five per 100,000 population.

The BCG vaccine has proven effective in protecting children under five years of age from TB complications.

The ministry also said its decision to cut back on the vaccine was based on international best practices, extensive research and recommendations made by the World Health Organization’s Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and Vaccine Preventable Diseases and the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation.

“The Ministry of Health is confident that it has a strong National Disease Surveillance System and National Tuberculosis Programme which will ensure that there is early identification and management of anyone diagnosed with TB in Barbados,” the statement added.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). It generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. And if left untreated, TB – the classic symptoms of which are a chronic cough with bloody mucus, fever, night sweats, and weight loss – kills about half of those infected.

The BCG vaccine has proven effective in protecting children under five years of age from complications of the disease but is said to be most effective if administered to children under one year of age, who live or frequent areas with a high burden of tuberculosis disease. (BGIS)

6 Responses to Govt cuts back on TB vaccine

  1. Jennifer December 21, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    WELL DONE TO THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND THE BARBADOS GOVERNMENT FOR THIS DECISION. It is high time that some of these big head people get some true education. A lot of these vaccines are maiming our children and giving them Asthma, eczema etc. While you are at it stop the HPV one too that killing kids in the UK etc. We injecting our children with all these killer vaccines while these so called 1st world countries do not give compulsory vaccines and yet the outbreak level is similar,

  2. Angela Maria
    Angela Maria December 21, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    No money.

  3. Zara Sapna Adam
    Zara Sapna Adam December 21, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Azeez Adam

  4. Joel C. Payne
    Joel C. Payne December 21, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    That is dumb, It is kow because of vaccine.

  5. Hal Austin December 22, 2016 at 4:02 am

    There is a growth in drug-resistant TB across the world. I recently had a TB test and the first thing the young Irish nurse looked for was my BCG mark’
    His words to me were that there was no problem with Caribbean people because they usually had BCGs.
    We are throwing out the baby with the bath water.

  6. Adrian Allison December 22, 2016 at 10:09 am

    This move is for one and one reason only and every person in Barbados knows that this is a cost saving measure.
    I hope that this move doesn’t come back to haunt this country in the future.


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