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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
ROMANIA: Tuberculosis Vaccine Sickens 115 Romanian Children; 50 Hospitalized
Jeannie Stokowski-Bisanti
November 27, 2012 (11.25.12)

On November 23, the Stockholm-based European Center for Disease Prevention and Control reported that 115 Romanian children became ill from a TB vaccine manufactured in Denmark. Fifty of the children have been hospitalized since March with symptoms including swollen lymph nodes and abscesses. During a televised address on November 22, Romanian Health Minister Raed Arafat said that TB vaccinations would be halted until the cause of the side effects is determined. According to Nils Strandberg Pedersen, CEO of Statens Serum Institut, a Copenhagen-based unit of Denmark’s health ministry and manufacturer of the vaccine, lymph node swelling is a “completely normal” side effect of the bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine. He commented that abcesses are also seen as a side effect of the vaccine but could not say whether the number affected was above those normally seen.