'Hertfordshire babies safe despite TB jab shortage'

PUBLISHED: 07:34 06 November 2016

TB vaccines are in short supply

TB vaccines are in short supply

Archant

Hertfordshire infants are unlikely to catch the killer disease tuberculosis (TB), despite a serious vaccine shortage, health chiefs have insisted.

In some parts of London, doctors have had to ration the TB vaccine for young babies because the Danish company that makes it is suffering production problems,

As the general infection danger is low In Hertfordshire, only babies at special risk, for example some with foreign parents, are routinely given inoculations.

A county council spokeswoman explained: “Whilst there have been shortages of vaccine, newborn babies have been given the highest priority to receive the vaccine that is available.

“Pregnant women are still being assessed, so that babies eligible for vaccination continue to be identified and are called for vaccination as soon as vaccine is available.

“Babies are not left unvaccinated but some will receive their vaccination later than usual.”

Jim McManus, County Hall director of public health, said: “Public Health England has successfully secured an interim supply of a BCG vaccine from a different manufacturer, enabling newborn babies who are at risk and will benefit most from the vaccine to be prioritised.

“The NHS was asked to develop local plans to put the available vaccine to best use, including catch-up vaccination for infants who missed their jab, as supplies allow.

“Public Health England is planning to secure more vaccine, to help catch-up children who may still benefit from it.”

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