The BCG vaccination is given in order to provide protection against tuberculosis (TB). The vaccine itself contains Mycobacterium bovis which is essentially a weaker version of TB. The weakened strain then copies the natural version of the disease in order to build immunity against it. As it is weakened it of course doesn’t cause anyone to contract TB.
The injection is provided to patients in the left upper arm, with the dosage administered based on the age of the patient.
The BCG vaccination is suitable for babies and young children and whilst it isn’t part of the UK NHS vaccination schedule it could be beneficial for certain individuals that meet specific criteria below:
Babies under 1 and born in areas with higher TB rates than the rest of the country, which also includes parts of London
Babies where the parent or grandparent was born in a country with high rates of TB.
For older children the BCG vaccination may be recommended as follows:
Children who have arrived in the UK from countries with a high volume of cases of TB.
Children who have close contact with a person that has respiratory TB.
The BCG vaccination is not usually recommended for anyone over 16.
It is to be expected that at the injection site a raised, red swelling could develop. This may turn into a blister and then ulcer but this should heal within a few weeks and should be left uncovered to heal.
Like any vaccination or medicine there are possible side effects. Some things to look out for are:
Slight swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpits
A severe allergic reaction such as breathing difficulties or collapse, redness and/or of the face or neck, skin rash. Contact a doctor straight away in any of these scenarios.
Severe injection site ulcers or reactions such as abscesses or discharge from an ulcer.
At the Women’s Wellness Centre we have limited stock of the BCG vaccination. For anyone wishing to seek a private clinic for BCG for their child we would be very happy to discuss the vaccination and whether it is suitable.
We offer a professional and comfortable environment for private consultations in London. Whilst the BCG vaccination may not be recommended for everyone we will work with our clients to find the best solution for your child in order to give them the best protection against TB.
We understand how important it is for parents to give their children the very best healthcare and we will do our utmost to help parents achieve that for their child. For an appointment to discuss BCG vaccination for your child please contact us.