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Title: Should medical students be routinely offered BCG vaccination?
Austin Authors: Graham, Maryza;Howley, Tanya M;Pierce, Robert J;Johnson, Paul D R 
Affiliation: Department of Infectious Diseases, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia, Australia
Issue Date: 18-Sep-2006
Publication information: Medical Journal of Australia; 185(6): 324-6
Abstract: BCG vaccination is no longer routinely offered to all medical students in Victoria. Practices in Australia's 15 medical schools vary widely with respect to BCG vaccination and surveillance for tuberculosis (TB) infection during the medical course. Health care workers can be exposed to TB in Australian hospitals, but the risk is much higher if they undertake work in countries with a high prevalence of TB, such as during student electives. BCG vaccination is safe, cheap and protects 50% or more of recipients from active TB, including multidrug-resistant TB. Protection is long-lasting, requires only a single dose, and there is new evidence that BCG may prevent primary infections, not just active disease. Although BCG vaccination interferes with the interpretation of the tuberculin skin test (TST), newer tests (QuantiFERON-TB Gold, T-SPOT.TB) are unaffected by BCG vaccination. We propose a standard approach for all Australian medical students that includes screening with TST and QuantiFERON-TB Gold/T-SPOT.TB at course entry, and recommending BCG vaccination for students who test negative, provided they have not previously received BCG vaccine.
Gov't Doc #: 16999674
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: BCG Vaccine.therapeutic use
Health Policy
National Health Programs.organization & administration
Occupational Exposure.prevention & control
Students, Medical
Tuberculin Test.utilization
Tuberculosis.prevention & control
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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