Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) is the only licensed vaccine for tuberculosis that provides moderate protection among infants and young children. This vaccination was introduced in the 1920s, after which no approved vaccine was introduced against tuberculosis.
The BCG vaccine is only 70-80% effective against severe tuberculosis. A study has shown that “The BCG vaccine contains live bacteria that have been weakened (attenuated) so that they stimulate the immune system but do not cause disease in healthy people. However, the vaccine should not be given to people who are clinically immunosuppressed (either due to drug treatment or underlying illness). This is because the vaccine strain can cause a serious infection. This includes babies whose mothers have had immunosuppressive treatment while they were pregnant or breastfeeding”.
As the BCG vaccine is mostly effective among children, researchers have been trying to find a new vaccine that can show positive results among adults. That being the case, a vaccine named M72/AS01E is under trial and yet to receive approval. A (2019) research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that M72/AS01E has reached the final stage of the trial. This means, M72/AS01E is positive against mycobacterium tuberculosis and may soon be licensed for commercial use.
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