Although there are very few cases of tuberculosis in Belgium, this disease continues to be a significant public health problem that requires continual vigilance.
The BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) vaccine protects young children from severe childhood forms of tuberculosis.
In Belgium, the vaccine is only considered for certain subjects at risk:
- people working in the healthcare sector who may come into contact with patients
- children under five years of age traveling to countries with a high prevalence of tuberculosis.
However, BCG vaccine efficacy is limited to extra-pulmonary forms of the disease. Although the BCG vaccine is routinely administered at birth in countries where the disease is endemic, the contagion caused by the lung form against which the BCG vaccine is ineffective persists, and tuberculosis therefore remains a major public health problem.