The potential impact of BCG vaccine supply shortages on global paediatric tuberculosis mortality.

Harris, RC; Dodd, PJ; White, RG; (2016) The potential impact of BCG vaccine supply shortages on global paediatric tuberculosis mortality. BMC Med, 14 (1). p. 138. ISSN 1741-7015 DOI:

Text - Published Version

Download (1MB) | Preview


The Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is provided to over 100 million neonates annually to protect against childhood tuberculosis (TB). Recent BCG manufacturing interruptions highlight global supply risks. We estimated the potential impact of BCG shortfalls on global paediatric (<15 years) TB mortality. A static mathematical model was employed to estimate the number of paediatric TB deaths avoided by usual levels of BCG coverage, and potential additional TB deaths in the first 15 years of life due to 1-year BCG supply shortfalls of 6.3 % (as occurred in 2015) to 27.6 % (as anticipated without mitigating action in 2015) assuming no catch-up campaigns. BCG coverage without shortfalls, estimated at 90 % globally, was estimated to avoid 117,132 (95 % uncertainty range (UR): 5049-306,911) TB deaths globally per birth cohort in the first 15 years of life. An estimated 11,713 (UR: 505-30,691) additional TB deaths would occur in the first 15 years of life per 10 % (26 million dose) annual supply shortfall. A 16.5 million dose (6.3 %) shortfall as reported at the close of 2015, reflecting 84 % global coverage, was estimated as associated with 7433 (95 % UR: 320-19,477) excess TB deaths in the affected cohort in the first 15 years. A possible 24,914 (UR: 1074-65,278) additional deaths were avoided due to prompt shortfall reduction measures in 2015. BCG shortages could greatly increase paediatric TB mortality. Although rapid action in 2015 minimised BCG shortfalls, avoiding a large number of potential additional deaths, the possible public health impact of even relatively small shortfalls highlights the critical importance of ensuring secure future manufacturing capacity and global BCG supply continuity.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: TB Centre
PubMed ID: 27633883
Web of Science ID: 384500000001


Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads since deposit
Accesses by country - last 12 months
Accesses by referrer - last 12 months
Impact and interest
Additional statistics for this record are available via IRStats2

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item