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By Brandon Ariathas

Tuberculosis
Who the Vaccine is given to?
The BCG vaccine (which stands for Bacillus Calmette-Gurin vaccine) protects against TB. It's not given as part of the routine NHS childhood vaccination schedule unless a baby is thought to have an increased risk of coming into contact with TB. This includes all babies born in some areas of inner-city London where TB rates are higher than in the rest of the country. BCG vaccination may also be recommended for older children who have an increased risk of developing TB, such as: children who have recently arrived from countries with high levels of TB children who have come into close contact with somebody infected with respiratory TB BCG vaccination is rarely given to anyone over the age of 16 - and never over the age of 35, because it doesn't work very well in adults. It is, however, given to adults aged between 16 and 35 who are at risk of TB through their work, such as some healthcare workers.

What the Vaccine is?


The BCG vaccine is made from a weakened form of a

bacterium closely related to human TB. Because the bacterium is weak, the vaccine does not cause any disease but it still triggers the immune system to protect against the disease, giving good immunity to people who receive it. The vaccine is 70-80% effective against the most severe forms of TB, such as TB meningitis in children. It is less effective in preventing respiratory disease, which is the more common form in adults.

Tests for Tuberculosis


During the physical exam, your doctor will check your

lymph nodes for swelling and use a stethoscope to listen carefully to the sounds your lungs make when you breathe. The most commonly used diagnostic tool for tuberculosis is a simple skin test. A small amount of a substance called PPD tuberculin is injected just below the skin of your inside forearm. You should feel only a slight needle prick. Within 48 to 72 hours, a health care professional will check your arm for swelling at the injection site. A hard, raised red bump means you're likely to have TB infection. The size of the bump determines whether the test results are significant. Other tests may include the blood test, chest X-ray and sputum tests.

Future and Controversy?


Despite declining numbers in most high-income countries,

tuberculosis shows no signs of disappearing in the near future. The burden of disease now disproportionately affects high-risk groups such as migrants, homeless persons, and prisoners.

HPV
Who the Vaccine is given to?
All girls aged 12 to 13 are offered HPV (human papilloma

virus) vaccination as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme. The vaccine protects against cervical cancer. It's usually given to girls in year eight at schools in England. According to Cancer Research UK, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women under the age of 35. In the UK, 2,900 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer.

What the Vaccine is?


A vaccine called Gardasil vaccine is used in the national

NHS cervical cancer vaccination programme. Gardasil protects against the two types of HPV responsible for more than 70% of cervical cancers in the UK. A bonus of using Gardasil to prevent cervical cancer is that it prevents genital warts too. Current research suggests the HPV vaccine is protective for at least seven years.

Future and Controversy?


The high cost of the current vaccines makes it out of reach

for most developing nations. Rates of cervical cancer have plummeted in countries where cervical cancer screening has been implemented. Unfortunately, most developing countries continue to lack resources for cervical cancer screening.