Richmond Practice - BCG for babies

BCG for babies

The BCG vaccine is a live vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), which can be a serious disease in young children. Studies have shown that immunisation in the first year of life protects against the most severe forms in 70 to 80% of the cases.

Should my baby have the vaccine?
The BCG vaccine is recommended to all babies up to one year who are born in areas of the UK with high rates of TB or who have a parent or grandparent from a high-risk country (see Government TB report 2016:13). In London, areas north of the river Thames are particularly affected. Live vaccines such as MMR should either be given at the same time of the BCG vaccine or at least 4 weeks after the injection but all routine immunisations in the first year including the Rotavirus vaccine can be given. Babies who have a high fever or weakened immune system should not be vaccinated.

How does it work?
The vaccine is administered into the skin of the left arm. It leaves a small mark which can develop into a blister after 2 to 6 weeks. It heals by itself but usually a small scar remains. The site doesn’t need to be protected during washing. Sometimes a scab appears which might take longer to heal. Small ulcers should be kept dry and exposed to air; otherwise it might not heal properly. Occasionally, the axillary lymph nodes can swell after the injection. Immunity is reached after 6 weeks.

At Elsbeth's Doctors BCG vaccinations cost £90 for children. If you would like to protect yourself or your child from TB; book today for a same day appointment with a consultant paediatrician on 030 0303 5009 or book online.


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