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School's vaccine offer

PUBLISHED: 16:58 17 December 2008 | UPDATED: 09:58 11 August 2010

CHILDREN and teachers at Cambell Junior School whose blood tests were negative for tuberculosis are to be offered the BCG jab. The move comes after the Health Protection Agency (HPA), announced TB screening for the entire school last week. Officials took

CHILDREN and teachers at Cambell Junior School whose blood tests were negative for tuberculosis are to be offered the BCG jab.

The move comes after the Health Protection Agency (HPA), announced TB screening for the entire school last week.

Officials took the drastic step after doctors discovered a 'higher than expected' number of active cases among pupils.

Test results will not be available for at least another week, but the HPA say those who have not come into contact with the disease will be offered the BCG injection.

The inoculation was phased out of schools several years ago because it was deemed not effective enough at combating the disease.

Any staff or pupils who have been in contact with the disease will be referred to the TB team at Queen's Hospital in Romford, and put on a course of antibiotics.

The HPA are stressing at this stage that none of the children with active infections are contagious.

Less than five of the 25 children who were originally tested over a month ago have Active TB, the others are receiving treatment for the latent form.

All 25 youngsters are in Year Five at Cambell Junior, in Langley Crescent, Dagenham, and had prolonged contact with the original carrier.

The POST reported in November that one person at the school had TB, and that pupils were being tested as a precautionary measure.

We told last week how the disease had spread, and that the HPA and NHS Barking and Dagenham had held a meeting to discuss the screening process with parents.

An HPA spokesman said: "This is more transmission than we would normally expect.

"We would expect fewer children to come up positive than in this instance."

He added that once they had finished the screening, they would be 'looking into the reasons behind this.'

The rest of Year Five who were given the Mantoux test and BCG jab last month will now also be offered a blood test if they want one.

Since the outbreak, several mothers have pulled their children out of school, and many are still outraged that they were 'kept in the dark' about the matter.

Last year's Year Six pupils at Cambell, who are now attending secondary schools elsewhere in the borough will also be given the blood test in January.


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