BCG vaccination and tuberculosis in Japan

Mahbubur Rahman, Osamu Takahashi, Masashi Goto, Tsuguya Fukui

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This paper summarizes Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination and revaccination policies in Japan, its cost-effectiveness, side effects, proposed selective vaccination strategy, and present tuberculosis situation in Japanese perspectives based on Medline database and other published reports. Universal BCG vaccination in infants and revaccination among children were not found economically justifiable. Overall tuberculosis incidence in Japan is higher than that of other developed countries. Trend of decline in tuberculosis incidence is similar to that of the countries where universal BCG vaccination has never been implemented. In the recent years, the number of tuberculosis group infection has been escalating. Since BCG revaccination program has already been discontinued, a consensus on universal BCG vaccination is also essential based on social, political, and economical factors. Side by side, more pragmatic strategies such as well-defined tuberculin test, selective vaccination policy based on tuberculosis incidence in each administrative zone, and early vaccination of high risk groups, should be formulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-135
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • BCG
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Japan
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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