S. Africa Will Test New TB Vaccine

Current shot in use since 1921
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2009 12:21 PM CDT
A TB patient after being administered medication at a clinic in Durban, South Africa.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A study starting next month will test a new vaccine's ability to prevent tuberculosis, Bloomberg reports. Researchers will give 2800 South African babies the new shot. The current vaccine has been around since 1921 and doesn’t keep infants from getting TB of the lungs, where the bacteria first sets in. Each year, TB infects about 8.8 million people worldwide and kills 1.7 million.

“This is the first of the new-generation TB vaccines to go into this kind of study looking at efficacy in infants,” said the researcher who developed the new vaccine. “It’s enormously exciting, and I sincerely hope we will see some efficacy.”