• Is tuberculin testing before BCG vaccination necessary for children over three months of age?

      Hennessy, B; Department of Community Health, Western Road, Clonmel, Co Tipperary. Brendan.Hennessy@hse.ie (2008-03)
      In July 2007 Irish national policy changed such that children aged 3 months to 6 years no longer routinely require tuberculin (Mantoux) skin testing prior to BCG vaccination. Previous to that a tuberculin test was required in all children in this age group pre vaccination. While the previous policy was in place this study was conducted to assess the value of this test. The observation that children are frightened by the test (an injection into the skin) prompted the study. The author conducted a retrospective study of the results of 1,854 tuberculin tests performed as a prerequisite to BCG vaccination and found that only 0.7% of children had a positive test result (induration > 5mm). None of 107 children < 6 years of age tested positive. Those > 12 years were more likely to test positive than younger children (1.09% vs 0.4% respectively, p < 0.05). This study suggests that testing young children before BCG vaccination has a low yield of positive results and adds little to the detection of latent or active TB.
    • Uptake of newly introduced universal BCG vaccination in newborns.

      Braima, O; Rigney, A; Ryan, C A; Murphy, C; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork. (2010-06)
      Universal neonatal BCG vaccination was discontinued in Cork in 1972. Following an outbreak of TB in 2 creches in the HSE South, a universal BCG vaccination program was re-introduced in October 2008. The aim of this study was to determine the vaccination process (in-hospital and community) and the in-hospital uptake of the vaccine. Following informed parental consent, babies of birth weight > 2.5 Kg were eligible for in-hospital vaccination if they were not: febrile, jaundiced on phototherapy, on antibiotics and if not born to HIV- positive mothers. Parents of babies not vaccinated in-hospital were asked to book an appointment in either of the 2 Cork community clinics. The immunisation nurse collected data on BCG vaccination, prospectively. This study examined vaccination uptakes in-hospital and community over a 6 month period (October 2008 to March 2009). There were 4018 deliveries during the study period. In-hospital consent was declined in only 16 babies (<1%) while the in-hospital vaccination uptake was 80% of total liv births. Although 635 newborns were admitted to the NICU, only 46 (8%) were vaccinated while in the NICU. At least 48% of planned community vaccination has been achieved to date. In conclusion, in-hospital consent was almost universal and vaccination uptake was satisfactory. NICU exclusion criteria accounted for a significant proportion of non-vaccination in-hospital. These criteria need to be readdressed considering that all premature babies are given other routine newborn vaccines at 2 months of age, regardless of weight.