TB vaccine to stop being given across the board

Revision of national immunisation schedule sees introduction of new vaccine for HPV.

Since February, the state has been offering the HPV vaccine to girls born in 2000 leading to an updated of the National Immunisation schedule. The vaccination is to protect girls against a virus that causes warts in the genital area, where in some cases it could also lead to cervical cancer.

Addressing a press conference, Public Health Superintendent Ray Busuttil also said that the TB vaccine will no longer be given across the board but will only be given to a selected group.

TB vaccination has been given in Malta since 1951.

"Extensive studies and research have shown that, in a country like ours where the incidence of TB is low, the vaccination doesn't protect against the virus as much as we thought it did and it doesn't stop the virus from reactivating after 10 to 15 years," Busuttil said.

Following recommendations of entities such as the World Health Organisation, it has been decided that the TB vaccination should be given to newborns belonging to high-risk groups.

The selective vaccination will be given to children born in or whose parents come from countries where the incidence of the virus is of 40 cases or more per 100,000 persons. 

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All well and good if this has been scientifically proven.