Updated: December 14, 2017
BCG or Bacille Calmette-Guerin is a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease. BCG is used in many countries with a high prevalence of TB to prevent childhood tuberculous meningitis and miliary disease. However, the BCG vaccine should be considered only for very select persons who meet specific criteria and in consultation with a TB expert.
should only be considered for children who have a negative tuberculin skin test and who are continually exposed. Also this can be considered if the child cannot be given long-term treatment for infection and cannot be separated from, adults who
BCG vaccination of health care workers should be considered on an individual basis in settings in which
Regarding the risks and benefits associated with both BCG vaccination and treatment of Latent TB Infection (LTBI), the health care workers considered for BCG vaccination should be counseled.
For persons who have been vaccinated with BCG, both the test either it is tuberculin skin test (TST) and blood tests is not contraindicated.
BCG vaccination may cause a false-positive reaction to the TST. The presence or size of a TST reaction in persons who have been vaccinated with BCG does not predict whether BCG will provide any protection against TB disease and also the size of a TST reaction is not a factor in determining whether the reaction is caused by LTBI or the prior BCG vaccination.
These are less likely to give a false-positive result as these tests are not affected by prior BCG vaccination.
The risk that TB infection will progress to disease can be reduced by treatment of LTBI. The same criteria should be used to interpret the evaluation of TST reactions in persons vaccinated with BCG as those for not BCG-vaccinated.
If a persons in the following high-risk groups has a reaction to the TST is at least 5 mm of induration or they have a positive result using a TB blood test, should be given treatment for LTBI. The high risk groups are:
When a persons in the following high-risk groups has a reaction to the TST is at least 10 mm of induration or they have a positive result using a TB blood test, should be given treatment for LTBI. The high risk groups are:
If the reaction of a person to the tuberculin test is at least 15 mm of induration or they have a positive result using a TB blood test, may be considered for treatment of LTB even if there is no known risk factors for TB.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These would start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. If you have severe allergic reaction, very high fever, or behavior changes , call 9-1-1 or find the nearest hospital.
The reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) through the VAERS website or by calling 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions. They do not give medical advice.
If you are injured by a vaccine, you can file a claim in National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) by calling 1-800-338-2382 or visiting the VICP website to get the compensation.
Your doctor can give you the vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of information.
You can call your local or state health department or can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by:
Calling 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO)
Visiting CDC vaccines website