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GPs face continued BCG vaccine shortage

Practices are being urged to prioritise use of their BCG vaccine stocks for immunising very young children, as public health officials warned central supplies of the vaccine have dried up for a second time this year.

Supply problems with the BCG vaccine emerged in March when Public Health England (PHE) informed GPs it was temporarily putting orders on hold because of delays in receiving the vaccine from the manufacturer.

Orders reopened last month but PHE confirmed to Pulse supplies have run out again and the vaccine is currently unavailable for ordering.

GPs have been advised they should prioritise use of remaining stocks in very young children who are eligible for the vaccine, to prevent miliary tuberculosis and tuberculosis meningitis.

A PHE spokesperson said: ‘Supply of BCG vaccine to PHE from the manufacturer, the Statens Serum Institute in Denmark, continues to be delayed. Due to this, the vaccine is currently unavailable to order through the ImmForm website.

‘A limited supply of the vaccine received by PHE in June enabled ordering to re-open for a short period. PHE is currently awaiting further supplies of the vaccine later in July, at which point ordering will resume as soon as possible.’

A statement from the vaccine supplier said: ‘We can confirm that there are delays with the BCG vaccine from Statens Serum Institute.’

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • We have been inundated with requests from parents from an Asian and African background who have been denied pre-discharge neonatal TB vaccine. We are using the Serum Institute of India BCG vaccine, imported under licence. The vaccine meets the requirements of W.H.O. when tested by the methods outlined in W.H.O., TRS 979 (2013).

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