Impact of COVID-19 Disruptions on Global BCG Coverage and Paediatric TB Mortality: A Modelling Study

Nabila Shaikh, Puck T Pelzer, Sanne M Thysen, Partho Roy, Rebecca C Harris, Richard G White

12 Citationer (Scopus)


The impact of COVID-19 disruptions on global Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) coverage and paediatric tuberculosis (TB) mortality is still unknown. To fill this evidence-gap and guide mitigation measures, we estimated the impact of COVID-19 disruptions on global BCG coverage and paediatric TB mortality. First, we used data from multiple sources to estimate COVID-19-disrupted BCG vaccination coverage. Second, using a static mathematical model, we estimated the number of additional paediatric TB deaths in the first 15 years of life due to delayed/missed vaccinations in 14 scenarios-varying in duration of disruption, and magnitude and timing of catch-up. We estimated a 25% reduction in global BCG coverage within the disruption period. The best-case scenario (3-month disruption, 100% catch-up within 3 months) resulted in an additional 886 (0.5%) paediatric TB deaths, and the worst-case scenario (6-month disruption with no catch-up) resulted in an additional 33,074 (17%) deaths. The magnitude of catch-up was found to be the most influential variable in minimising excess paediatric TB mortality. Our results show that ensuring catch-up vaccination of missed children is a critical priority, and delivery of BCG alongside other routine vaccines may be a feasible way to achieve catch-up. Urgent action is required to support countries with recovering vaccination coverages to minimise paediatric deaths.

Udgave nummer11
StatusUdgivet - 22 okt. 2021


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