In recent times we are periodically seeing outbreaks of tuberculosis. A couple of articles in the Sentinel recently illustrate this. On Wednesday we heard of a case at Clough Hall Technology School in Kidsgrove – click here for the story. Today we hear of a vodafone worker in Chesterton with the desease – click here for the story. Vodafone employs around 1,400 people in Chesterton, Newcastle and Etruria.
Now when I was a child, we had the BCG vaccine, which offers 70%-80% protection (reference) against TB and I just feel it might have been a mistake to discontinue this vaccination programme in schools.
As a parent I am particularly concerned about my children when they go off to university. It’s great to go to university and that involves extensive contact with people from many other places. This is a good experience but inevitably means that new students tend to catch all sorts of illnesses, although most of these are minor. So personally I would have preferred it if my children could have been vaccinated like I was at school. We know the safety and efficacy of the BCG vaccine because it has been used for so many years. I plan, nearer the time, to enquire about getting my children vaccinated against TB. However the comment by Joanne Hymers, whose daughters attend Clough Hall school, does not bode well. Obtaining this vaccine even privately appears not to be easy, although I can’t see any reason why a private healthcare provider would want to refuse.
It also seems that cases of measles are on the increase – click here for yesterday’s story on this. I also seem to remember an outbreak of mumps a few years ago. I suppose this is inevitable, as not all parents will choose to have their children vaccinated. I am supportive of parents rights to decide what is best for their children regarding vaccination, even if it is not the same as the choice I would make.
One of the most recent new vaccines to be introduced is the HPV vaccine – click here for the story. Although this looks like it could be a good vaccine, I think they have got the timing wrong. I give more detail in my comment on this article.
What do you think about vaccination and the outbreaks of TB and other diseases?