Today’s tuberculosis vaccine, the BCG vaccine, was developed early in the 1900s, and it is the most widely used vaccine for children. The vaccine has an estimated coverage of 89 per cent worldwide. In comparison, polio has an estimated coverage of 84 per cent.
From 2009 the BCG vaccine is only given to children particulary vunerable to tuberculosis.
Unfortunately, the BCG vaccine does not provide full protection. While it has been proven that the vaccine effectively prevents serious forms of tuberculosis in children, it only provides limited protection for adults. When over ten million people develop tuberculosis every year, it is obvious that the BCG vaccine is far from effective enough.
In Norway, the BCG vaccine is only given to children who are particularly vulnerable to tuberculosis.
New vaccines must be developed
In order to stop the epidemic worldwide, it is essential that a new vaccine for tuberculosis be developed. In the effort to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal on health and World Health Organisation's "End TB-strategy" the development of a new tuberculosis vaccine must be a priority task for the international community.
LHL International believes that Norway, with our tuberculosis history, should invest even more in financing the development of new tuberculosis vaccines in order to take the lead and set an example internationally. Norway must take responsibility and contribute more in order to get this global threat under control.