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BCG vaccine, yes or no?

  1. #25
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Happy Valley

    "may not be necessary" is not advice. Its just waffling. Your doctor doesnt want to give advice on this specific topic so they are passing it to a specialist so he doesn't need to deal with it.

    A point to note : 1n 2003, there were 8000 cases of SARS in HKG and everyone was alarmed.
    In 2010, there were more than 5000 cases of TB in HKG and according to some posts here, there are doctors that are dismissing it as "not that common"

    8000 is a pandemic but 5000 is not that common?
    Something doesnt add up here.

  2. #26
    ozmerc is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Hong Kong

    We have chosen not to get BCG vaccine for our baby who was recently born in HK. Although this is not a reason, no-one else in our family has had it as we were all born overseas - including our 4 year old.

    Baby had no vaccinations as a newborn as I didn't think either Hep B or BCG were necessary in the first 48 hours of life. I wanted to establish bonding and bf and didn't want ANYTHING potentially disrupting that. It seems like quite a nasty shot and I was not willing to inflict it on my newborn. The government website states that it is a live vaccine and should not be given to those whose immunity is compromised. Newborn surely have compromised immunity therefore I was not comfortable with it personally.

    With regards to TB, it is certainly a scary disease and obviously much more common in HK than the countries we came from. However it is concentrated in a particular portion of the population and is associated with overcrowded living conditions and thus poor hygiene/ventilation that tends to accompany it. Many of the cases reported in HK may have come in from outside the city - i.e. they were not contracted here. So what I'm saying is that the cases are not spread evenly within the population but rather concentrated among some groups. I saw an article in the SCMP recently which outlined the extremely high rate in Sham Shui Po due to the caged homes and cramped partitioned flats. The HK govt website states that you generally need prolonged exposure to someone with an active case of TB before you can contract it - and it seems it is those with compromised immunity that are mainly at risk.

    The govt vaccinates all newborns against TB not because all are at risk, but it is a catch-all solution. I don't blame them - it is easier than trying to obtain the risk profile of every newborn and trying to ascertain their likelihood of contracting it. It is the same for Hep B which also has specific risk factors (like needle sharing and prostitution) - while there is almost a zero chance of a newborn or even a child contracting it they all receive the vaccination in order to ensure the whole population grows up with immunity.

    elle and bridiemexico like this.

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