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BCG vaccine for tuberculosis (TB)

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The BCG vaccine helps protect against an infection called tuberculosis (TB), which can be serious if not treated.

The BCG vaccine is recommended for people at higher risk of getting tuberculosis, such as babies living in parts of the UK where the risk is higher.

Some people cannot have the BCG vaccine, including people who are pregnant or have a weakened immune system.

You can check the ingredients in the BCG vaccine by asking to see the patient leaflet or searching for it online.

Your baby or child may be offered the BCG vaccine if they are eligible. Speak to your GP surgery if you think you or your child need the vaccine.

The BCG vaccine is injected into your upper arm. You may need a skin test before the injection to make sure you've not had tuberculosis (TB) before.

The main side effect of the BCG vaccine is a blister where the vaccine is given, which leaves a small scar. Serious side effects are very rare.

Page last reviewed: 04/12/2023
Next review due: 04/12/2026