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TB vaccine is hailed as ground breaking, though confirmatory trials are needed

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 29 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6274
  1. Jacqui Thornton
  1. Hyderabad, India

A new vaccine against tuberculosis has shown more than 50% efficacy in protecting people with latent disease from developing the deadly and infectious pulmonary form of the disease, a study has found.1

It is the first time that a vaccine against TB has demonstrated the ability to stop progression, which was “ground breaking” and could save tens of millions of lives, the TB Science conference in Hyderabad, India, heard.

At present the 100 year old BCG jab is given to children to prevent the illness but it does not protect adults consistently against the infection.

The study of vaccine candidate M72/AS01 E, made by GlaxoSmithKline, was carried out in 11 sites in TB endemic regions in Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia and involved 3573 adults aged 18-50 who had latent TB. The participants were randomised to receive two doses of the vaccine 30 days apart or placebo as part of the phase 2b double blind trial and the results reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.1

During the three year follow-up, 13 participants in …

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