BCG vaccine in short supply

07 Sep, 2015 - 00:09 0 Views

The Herald

Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
Thousands of babies born in recent months could have been exposed to tuberculosis bacteria following a global shortage of the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine.

The shortage believed to have been precipitated by a delay in manufacturing is, however, expected to be overcome very soon. Although Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa could not be reached for comment yesterday nursing staff from different clinics confirmed that BCG was in short supply.

The nurses, however, said they were informed that the vaccine was now available at national level and would soon be delivered to all clinics in the country. Ideally, the BCG vaccine is administered at birth to provide protection against TB and is administered in all delivery institutions in Zimbabwe.

“I was discharged without my child receiving BCG. We were told to check from council clinics,” said Mrs Esther Makoni of Harare who delivered at a private clinic in Harare.

She said the vaccine was not readily available in council clinics with nurses telling them to keep checking for its availability. BCG is the first vaccine administered to babies worldwide against killer diseases.

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