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March 2, 1970

It's Time for BCG Vaccine

Author Affiliations

University of Illinois Chicago

JAMA. 1970;211(9):1545. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170090061020

To the Editor.—  In 1968 more than 42,000 new active cases of tuberculosis were reported in the United States. This is a slight decrease from 1967, but the alarming fact is that many large cities are reporting increases in the number of new cases, generally accounted for in the nonwhite population and the slum and ghetto areasThe increased new case rate in these underprivileged areas and groups suggests the need for a reappraisal of present prevention programs and an added emphasis for the active and intensive employment of BCG vaccine, a proven vaccine against tuberculosis.Measures recommended by the US Task Force on Tuberculosis,1 namely, finding cases of tuberculosis by tuberculin testing and x-ray films and chemotherapy, have been instrumental in lowering the incidence of tuberculosis in many localities, but reports show that these procedures have been less successful in highrisk areas.Isoniazid prophylaxis, which has been recommended