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Czechs may have cancelled TB vaccination too soon

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Prague, Feb 9 (CTK) – The cancellation of general vaccination of children against tuberculosis may have been premature, chairwoman of the Czech Chamber of Deputies health committee Vera Adamkova (ANO) has said, arguing with the rising number of TB cases.

In 2016, there were 517 TB cases in the Czech Republic. Of them, 151 related to foreigners.

A total of 26 ill people died from the disease, five of them in Prague.

At first, children were vaccinated on the fourth day of their lives and at the age of 11, they were revaccinated.

In 2009, the revaccination was cancelled and one year later, even the infants’ vaccination followed suit.

“The cancellation of the vaccination may have been a rash decision, made too soon. In the past 30 years, two steps towards its limitation were taken and now everything has returned back,” Adamkova said.

The health committee wants to deal with the situation, due to which it has asked for statistical data.

However, she said there were no data on whether the cancellation of the vaccination had contributed to the occurrence of tuberculosis.

“It is likely that we may only propose a change after consulting experts,” Adamkova said.

She said she also wanted to deal with the cases of the infected foreigners who come to the Czech Republic.

The checks before taking up a job for people from risk countries such as Ukraine or Mongolia should be stricter, Adamkova said.

In Prague and Central Bohemia, the occurrence of tuberculosis is some 60 percent higher than in other regions due to a higher concentration of persons at risk such as foreigners, the homeless and socially marginalised.

TB bacteria are very adaptable and some types do not react to certain antibiotics. The death rate may be up to 40 percent and in the most resistant type perhaps as much as 60 percent.

Out of the foreigners with tuberculosis, most were from Ukraine (41), followed by Slovakia (21), Vietnam (21) and Romania (21).

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