No TB vaccine until 2013 says Canadian company
BCG vaccine used in Nunavut to protect newborns
The Canadian manufacturer of the BCG tuberculosis vaccine says it won't be making more until late 2013.
The vaccine is offered to newborns in Nunavut and helps protect against serious forms of the disease for two years. The rate of TB in Nunavut is about 75 times the national average, according to the Canadian Medical Association.
Sanofi Pasteur, the only Canadian company that makes the BCG vaccine, stopped distributing it in April.
Nunavut was rationing its remaining supply of the vaccine when the manufacturer recalled the remaining vials last Friday as problems at the company’s manufacturing facility in Ontario may have affected the vaccine’s quality.
The company said the vaccine is unavailable due to renovations in the Ontario plant to improve quality management.
The federal government is currently looking at international suppliers for the vaccine. Health Canada said earlier this week the department had contacted five international manufacturers of BCG and has already heard back from some, but could not say when a new supply of the vaccine would be available.