TB vaccine fails on infants, study says

A nurse performed a check-up on a baby as part of a clinical trial in Worcester, South Africa.

Reuters/File 2012

A nurse performed a check-up on a baby as part of a clinical trial in Worcester, South Africa.

LONDON — The world’s most advanced tuberculosis vaccine failed to protect babies against the infectious disease, according to a new study in South Africa.

The vaccine, MVA85A, was designed to improve the protection provided by the ­tuberculosis vaccine, BCG, which is routinely given to newborns.


Though the new vaccine appeared safe, scientists found no proof it prevented tuberculosis, an airborne disease that kills more than 1 million ­people worldwide every year.

Previous tests of the vaccine in adults had been promising and researchers said the trial provided useful data to inform future studies.

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

There are a dozen other vaccines being tested.

Some health officials were discouraged by the results. ‘‘It’s pretty disappointing,’’ said Dr. Jennifer Cohn, a medical coordinator at Doctors Without Borders, who was not part of the study. ‘‘Infants are at really high risk of TB but this doesn’t seem to offer them any protection.’’

MVA85A was developed at Oxford University.

Associated Press

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of