TB continues to be the most deadly overlooked infectious disease, killing 1.6 million people a year. Overlooked to the point that a new vaccine for TB (the current one is over 100 years old and marginally effective) won’t be tested by GSK the owner of the vaccine but by the Gates Foundation and a charity! Testing will occur in specific parts of Asia and Africa where about half the population is infected with latent TB. Even if the new vaccine is only partially successful, it will save lives and avoid the need for millions of treatments a year. Canada should consider funding post-trial surveillance, to track any side effects that might not show up in the tests, and announce the support at the United Nations high-level meeting in September.
Randy Rudolph, Calgary