16 August 2000
BCG vaccine is a widely used vaccine for the protection against tuberculosis. In Hong Kong, it has been given to two main groups of individuals:
With the advance in medicine and the availability of more scientific evidence, it has been noted that the first dose of BCG vaccination in children is useful. However, a second or repeat BCG vaccination does not give additional protection against tuberculosis.
In line with the recommendations by the World Health Organization and the local Advisory Committee on Immunization (ACI), the Department of Health has decided to revise the BCG vaccination programme in Hong Kong as follows:
Taking on board the recommendations of the ACI, starting from the school year 2000/01, the BCG re-vaccination programme for primary school children will be discontinued. The Department of Health will continue to offer BCG vaccination for those children under 15 who have never received the vaccine before.
The Department will inform the principals of all primary schools in Hong Kong of the revised immunization programme. In addition, parents will also be informed through the schools.
Lastly, as the local tuberculosis incidence is still high, vigilant control of tuberculosis needs to be maintained through sustained effort in a wide spectrum of measures. In this regard, your continual support would be much appreciated.
If you have any comments or queries, please feel free to contact the undersigned.
(Dr. CM Tam)
for Director of Health