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July 22, 1950


Author Affiliations

Washington, D. C.

From the United States Public Health Service, Division of Tuberculosis; Medical Director, Chief (Dr. Anderson); Medical Director, Chief, Field Studies Branch (Dr. Palmer).

JAMA. 1950;143(12):1048-1051. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910470008003

Tuberculosis has become somewhat of an emergency in many areas of the world, particularly in those countries directly affected by World War II. A multitude of shortages has made it impossible to employ the usual tuberculosis control measures. As a result, a simple procedure like BCG vaccination has a strong appeal, and that appeal grows stronger each day that the harmlessness of the vaccine is reiterated. The adoption of BCG vaccination programs under those conditions is understandable, and it is also understandable that similar appeal should be felt in those areas which, although not devastated by war, have been forced to view their tuberculosis problem with a certain resignation, if not hopelessness. It appears that these circumstances, rather than any recent demonstration of the vaccine's value in the prevention of tuberculosis, have given rise to the vast worldwide BCG programs now under way.

There is doubtless justification for these programs,