BCG Vaccination Information
- Children born overseas or who have previously travelled overseas will be required to be tested for previous TB exposure prior to BCG vaccination (Mantoux Test). This is a two step procedure requiring a second visit.
- BCG vaccination cannot be administered within one month of Measles/MumpsRubella/Varicella vaccination. If your child has recently had the 18 month MMRV vaccine, please allow at least one month from that date before booking the BCG vaccination
- BCG vaccination is recommended only for children under the age of 5 travelling to high risk countries. Older children are not at risk of the more serious complications of primary TB infection and therefore do not require vaccination.
- Please remember to bring your child’s immunisation book so that the BCG vaccination can be recorded.
Clinics for BCG vaccination are held at Southgate Medical Tuesday mornings only, between 10:30am & 12:30pm.
Consultation $158.00 (Medicare rebate $80.10)
BCG Vaccine $150.00 (Private health insurance may provide rebate)
Payment, by EFTPOS/Credit Card/Cash, to be completed immediately after consultation.
A cancellation fee will apply for cancellations made less than 24 hours before the appointment
The Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine, often referred to as the “tuberculosis BCG vaccination,” is a preventive measure against tuberculosis (TB). Named after its developers, Dr. Albert Calmette and Dr. Camille Guerin, this vaccine originates from the Mycobacterium bovis germ, closely related to the TB bacteria. Although a live vaccine, BCG has been modified to ensure it’s safe for human use. In places like Melbourne, where TB isn’t prevalent, the BCG vaccine isn’t a routine immunization. However, it’s advised for specific situations, such as traveling to high-risk TB regions.
While the BCG vaccine doesn’t stop TB bacteria infection, it plays a crucial role in preventing the disease’s progression, especially in children. It’s particularly potent against severe TB forms in infants and can be administered right from birth.
Administered as a BCG injection just below the skin, typically on the upper left arm, this vaccine sometimes requires a preliminary test. If there’s suspicion your child might have been exposed to TB, a TB skin test, known as the Mantoux test, is conducted. A positive result indicates prior TB exposure, making the BCG vaccine unsuitable. A negative result, however, clears the child for the BCG vaccine.
- Children under five traveling to high TB risk countries.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants in high TB incidence regions.
- Infants with parents or caregivers diagnosed with TB.
Certain children should abstain from the BCG vaccine due to potential complications. This includes those who:
- Have had a TB diagnosis.
- Show a positive Mantoux test result.
- Are HIV positive.
- Have compromised immune systems due to conditions or medications.
Common reactions post-BCG vaccination include redness or a small lump, leading to a minor ulcer weeks later. This ulcer, usually under a centimeter wide, can persist for weeks to months before leaving a faint scar.
- Maintain cleanliness and dryness.
- Bathe the child as usual, gently drying the area afterward.
- Use gauze dressing if oozing occurs.
- Sterile alcohol swabs can be used for cleaning.
- Avoid ointments, antiseptic creams, or Band-Aids.
Rare side effects can arise from the BCG vaccine. Consult your GP if:
- A large abscess forms at the injection site.
- There’s noticeable swelling or tenderness under the left arm, indicating potential axillary lymph node infection.
- The injection site develops pronounced keloid scarring.
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