Research says HIV-infected infants are at risk of contracting a deadly form of tuberculosis from the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, instead of receiving protection against the disease.
The research is published in the international public health journal, the Bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO).
While the BCG vaccine is given to approximately 75 percent of newborn babies worldwide, a South African study has found that its harm may outweigh the benefits for HIV-infected infants.
The study recommends delaying vaccination until the infant's HIV status is known.
"There is an urgent need to assess the risk versus benefits of this vaccine in settings where both HIV infection and tuberculosis burdens are high," says co-author Professor Simon Schaaf, from the Desmond Tutu TB Center at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
The Bulletin of the World Health Organization is one of the world's leading public health journals. It is the flagship periodical of the World Health Organization, with a special focus on developing countries.