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BCG Information

BCG Vaccine: Common Questions Answered

1. What is the BCG?

The BCG vaccine helps shield children from tuberculosis, a serious illness caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a major global health concern, causing more deaths than any other infectious disease. It spreads when infected people cough or sneeze, releasing bacteria into the air. Children, especially infants, are particularly vulnerable to getting sick if they come into contact with someone with tuberculosis.


2. Does my child need a BCG?

As per the Australian Government Department of Health, it’s recommended that newborns and kids under 5 who’ll be traveling a lot or living in places where tuberculosis is common should get the BCG vaccine.
These places include countries like India, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and many countries in Africa. You can find a full list here.


3. When is the best time to have a BCG?

Ideally, your child should get the BCG vaccine at least a month before traveling to provide ample time for protection to develop. Consider discussing future travel plans with your healthcare provider.


4. What age can BCG be given?

BCG can be administered from birth up to 5 years of age, depending on travel plans and destinations.


5. Will my child need a test before BCG?

Children who have traveled to high-risk countries or have been exposed to someone with tuberculosis may need a Mantoux test, available at Offspring’s travel clinic.


6. Can BCG be given with other vaccines?

Yes, BCG can be given alongside other vaccines. Your doctor will advise you on the best approach.


7. Is a gap needed before or after BCG and other vaccines?

BCG should be given simultaneously with certain vaccines or four weeks apart from others. Your healthcare provider will guide you on scheduling.


8. Is paracetamol required before BCG?

Paracetamol (Panadol) is not typically needed before a BCG vaccine.


9. What are the side effects of BCG?

Side effects are uncommon and usually mild, with most children experiencing a sore at the injection site that heals within a few weeks, possibly leaving a small scar.


10. Why should we visit the Offspring’s Travel & BCG clinic?

Our clinic specialises in paediatric travel health
– Experienced Staff: Children receive their advice, immunisations and BCG vaccine from an experienced Paediatrician and Children’s Nurse
– Proper Administration: We ensure the BCG vaccine is administered correctly for optimal effectiveness.
– Accurate Screening: We screen for tuberculosis when necessary to ensure the vaccine is suitable for your child.
– Tailored Advice: We offer personalised advice on vaccine risks, benefits, and ways to reduce the risk of tuberculosis while traveling.
– Up-to-date Information: We provide current information on BCG vaccine recommendations and any associated risks or side effects.