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Health Insight April 2001: TB vaccination restarts

  Public Health Minister Yvette Cooper has announced the resumption of routine BCG vaccination against tuberculosis in all schools. Routine vaccination was suspended in September 1999, when suppliers said they had manufacturing problems. Ms Cooper said, 'We know that parents have been concerned about the health of their children while the programme has been suspended. This is why we have remained committed to restarting the programme as soon as possible. Every effort will be made to vaccinate all of the children who have missed out on the BCG vaccine since September 1999.' The Conservatives allege the government has been complacent in allowing the programme to be suspended for so long.

The latest global statistics on TB have just been published, showing a rise in many parts of the world. There were 797 new cases in the UK in 1999, up from 270 in 1994. The charity TB Alert has called on the government to do more to combat the resurgence of the disease in the UK and worldwide.

Sources: Press releases (DoH, TB Alert)
BBC Online
Global Tuberculosis Control 2001 (World Health Organisation)

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