09/09/2015

Public Consultation On Changes To BCG Programme Begins

A public consultation on proposed changes to the BCG vaccination programme has started in Ireland.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has evaluated changes to the national infant BCG vaccination programme proposed by the National Immunisation and National TB Advisory Committees.

The Health technology assessment of a selective BCG vaccination programme: Draft for public consultation evaluates the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of a proposed change to the Irish BCG programme, as well as organisational and ethical issues.

HIQA's Director of Health Technology Assessments, Dr Máirín Ryan said: "The six-week public consultation starts a discussion on the future of Ireland's BCG vaccination programme. It allows the public to review the Authority's advice and give their feedback on a potential change to the BCG vaccination programme.

"In the context of a fall in TB incidence and diminished risk of acquiring TB, there has been a shift in the balance between the benefits and risks of offering vaccination to all infants. Falling TB incidence has decreased the potential benefit of BCG vaccination for the majority of children. Selective vaccination will continue to protect those at higher risk while avoiding unnecessary side effects in those with a limited capacity to benefit from vaccination. The majority of infants vaccinated incur minor side effects while one in 1,200 infants will incur side effects that require medical follow up."

(CD)

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