Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Questions (747, 748)

Seán Kyne

Question:

747. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Health if, in view of the recent incidence of tubercolosis, the policy of administering the BCG vaccine to newborns, which is currently the practice in all regions of the State except of the west of Ireland, will be extended nationwide. [8981/13]

View answer

Seán Kyne

Question:

748. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Health if he will provide an assurance that in the event that cost is a prohibiting factor in the extension of the administration of the BCG vaccine to newborns in the west of Ireland that additional funding will be provided from his Department and the Health Service Executive. [8982/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 747 and 748 together.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) recommends a universal neonatal BCG vaccination policy. Historically, BCG vaccination is given in HSE West to children in 5th/6th class in primary schools and also to infants in the 'at risk' categories. These childhood immunisations are already funded from within existing HSE resources.

Rates of TB are declining nationally. The latest validated figures for epidemiology of TB in Ireland relates to 2009. In 2009, the national rate of TB was 11.3 per 100,000 of the population ranging from 5.1 in HSE West to 15.7 in HSE East. In 2012, the provisional national rate of TB incidence was 8.3 per 100,000 of the population, ranging from 5.0 in HSE South East to 11.0 in HSE South.