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Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 Sep;10(9):1529-35.

Potential public health impact of new tuberculosis vaccines.

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University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.


Developing effective tuberculosis (TB) vaccines is a high priority. We use mathematical models to predict the potential public health impact of new TB vaccines in high-incidence countries. We show that preexposure vaccines would be almost twice as effective as postexposure vaccines in reducing the number of new infections. Postexposure vaccines would initially have a substantially greater impact, compared to preexposure vaccines, on reducing the number of new cases of disease. However, the effectiveness of postexposure vaccines would diminish over time, whereas the effectiveness of preexposure vaccines would increase. Thus, after 20 to 30 years, post- or preexposure vaccination campaigns would be almost equally effective in terms of cumulative TB cases prevented. Even widely deployed and highly effective (50%-90% efficacy) pre- or postexposure vaccines would only be able to reduce the number of TB cases by one third. We discuss the health policy implications of our analyses.

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