Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

BCG immunisation in England and Wales: a survey of policy and practice in schoolchildren and neonates.

British Medical Journal 1992; 305 doi: (Published 29 August 1992) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1992;305:495
  1. C. A. Joseph,
  2. J. M. Watson,
  3. K. J. Fern
  1. Respiratory Diseases Section, PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London.


    OBJECTIVE--To determine the policy and practice of district health authorities in England and Wales for BCG immunisation in schoolchildren and neonates. DESIGN--Self completion postal questionnaire survey. PARTICIPANTS--District immunisation coordinators. SETTING--199 district health authorities in England and Wales. RESULTS--Questionnaires were received from 186 districts, a response rate of 94%. Considerable uniformity was observed in many aspects of BCG immunisation policy and practice but some important variations were found. 15 districts no longer carry out a routine schools programme. 148 districts offer BCG to selected groups of neonates and five to all neonates, but 31 districts do not offer BCG to this age group. The recommended action in response to different levels of tuberculin sensitivity in schoolchildren and neonates varied among districts. CONCLUSIONS--Despite the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation some districts do not offer BCG immunisation to neonates at high risk of tuberculosis and there are important variations in other aspects of BCG policy.