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Tuberculosis Vaccine Ruled Ineffective for Infants


A candidate for a long-awaited TB vaccine fails to prevent the disease in infants, a new study found. The vaccine, called MVA85A, had success in adults and animals, but provided only one-tenth of the protection needed for infants. 

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A tuberculosis vaccine, Bacille Calmette-Guerin, or BCG, does exist but does not provide total immunity against pulmonary TB, the worst form of the disease. Because of this, the US does not use that vaccine, according to the CDC. One hundred million babies outside of the US receive the BCG vaccine yearly. Researchers had been hoping this new vaccine would be more effective.

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This was the first time 45 years a new TB vaccine has been studied for infants. Tuberculosis affects one million children under 15 around the world every year, with about 670 cases in the US.