§ Mr. Shersby
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what advice he has received concerning the desirability of all immigrants to the United Kingdom receiving BCG vaccinations in the country of origin; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Moyle
I am advised that BCG vaccination is only effective in persons who have not previously been infected with tuberculosis. In areas where there is a high incidence of tuberculosis the first, usually "self-healing", infection occurs at an early age and thus the greater number of adult immigrants to this country would not benefit from BCG vaccination.
On the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation the need to intensify efforts to identify and vaccinate persons at risk in immigrant communities in this country, especially children, who might benefit from the BCG procedure was brought to the attention of doctors in the NHS in October last year.