Smallpox and polio were "around and killing long before anybody was vaccinating either people or cows" too, but that doesn't mean that the vaccines never caused the disease. And yes, the TB vaccine has caused TB.
"In the summer of 1930, in Lubeck, Germany, 240 infants were vaccinated with BCG; 72 of the vaccinated infants developed tuberculosis and died…."
Yes, the contaminated vaccine in that case was a horrible tragedy that never should have happened with more careful handling. And yes, there are other problems with the vaccine, including that it is not very effective at all. TB is not nearly as contagious as disease such as measles, flu, chickenpox - rather than being passed easily by brief exposure, TB is generally only transmitted to people who have frequent and prolonged contact with the sick person, though that can end up being quite a few people if TB is left untreated as an active case of TB can last months or even years. But because it is not so contagious, it is easier to track down people who need testing, and with treatment a person is advised to stay fairly isolated for a couple weeks and then they are no longer contagious. So TB is fairly easy to keep in check in the US through screening of at risk populations, tracking down likely contacts, and prompt treatment of all discovered cases. This coupled with the problems with the TB vaccine are why it is currently not used here. Because when a vaccine is neither needed nor effective, it isn't used here.
But that's not what we were talking about before. In the measles thread that this on spun off from, there was a link to a paper on smallpox which, among other things, brought forth the idea that the smallpox vaccine may cause TB. The only evidence presented to support this notion was that Jenner's son, vaccinated for smallpox, died of TB at age 21 and that the first boy he tested the vaccine on also may have died of TB at age 21.... or he may have live past the age of sixty (other sources support the long life) and a rather odd quote from the editor of a shortly lived medical journal in the mid-19th century that "consumptions follows vaccination as surely as effect follows cause." I personally found it rather bizarre that she would even bother to bring it up when that is the best she can do for supporting it. And that is what the discussion of vaccine causing TB was about.
Dryvax,® the vaccinia (smallpox) vaccine currently licensed in the United States, is a lyophilized, live-virus preparation of infectious vaccinia virus (Wyeth Laboratories, Inc., Marietta, Pennsylvania). Vaccinia vaccine does not contain smallpox (variola) virus. Previously, the vaccine had been prepared from calf lymph with a seed virus derived from the New York City Board of Health (NYCBOH) strain of vaccinia virus and has a minimum concentration of 108 pock-forming units (PFU)/ml. Vaccine was administered by using the multiple-puncture technique with a bifurcated needle. A reformulated vaccine, produced by using cell-culture techniques, is now being developed. [/UNQUOTE]
If smallpox is eradicated, why are we reformulating the vaccine against it?
If smallpox was eradicated by the vaccine, obviously the old vaccine worked well enough.
Why re-invent the vaccine that did the job?
...And why are we reformulating a vaccine for a disease that has supposedly been eradicated? :scratch
As someone else said, again, fear of biological warfare as a result of virus deliberately kept alive in labs, and also because while at the time that was written, they had not re-started vaccinating military personal, they still were vaccinating anyone working with the virus. While a safer vaccine would be great, the main reason for a new one was that the vaccine had not been produced since 1983 so old stocks were diminished and expiring, and the facilities and infrastructure for the old process of making the vaccine were no longer available, so they needed to develop one that could be produced with modern technology.
This link should give a better answer to your questions: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol7no6/rosenthal.htm