The BCG vaccination full form is Bacille Calmette Guerin vaccine. The BCG vaccine was developed by French bacteriologists Albert Calmette and Camille Guérin, hence the name.
Apart from knowing the BCG vaccination full form, you also need to know what is BCG vaccine and why it is important to get immunized.
The BCG vaccine is a vaccine generally used to prevent tuberculosis.
In countries where tuberculosis or leprosy is common, one dose of the BCG vaccine is recommended to new born babies as soon as they are born.
BCG vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine designed to help people become immune from TB.
A common query among parents is when to give BCG vaccine.
It is recommended that new borns receive the BCG vaccine as soon as they are discharged from the hospital.
If for some reason, they miss the BCG vaccination, they can be given the BCG injection anytime up to 5 years of age.
It is essential to follow this BCG vaccine schedule to prevent tuberculosis.
The BCG vaccine route differs from all other vaccines. The BCG vaccine route requires an Intradermal (ID) injection.
ID BCG injection administers the vaccine in the topmost layer of the skin. The Intradermal BCG injection decreases the risk of neurovascular injury but may leave a BCG vaccine scar.
The BCG vaccine dose is the most difficult vaccine to administer due to the small size of newborns’ arms.
A short narrow needle (15 mm, 26 gauge) is used to administer the BCG vaccine. The standard dose for BCG vaccination is 0.1 g in 1 mL.
The BCG vaccine dose for children under 1 year of age is 0.05 mL. Above 1 year, children have to take the standard dose.
The BCG vaccine dose for adults is 1 mL.
Apart from providing immunity from TB, there are plenty of other BCG vaccine uses.
BCG vaccine is a lyophilized powder in an ampoule. Buffered saline is used as a dilutent and is sold separately.
It is mostly available in a multidose ampoule having 20 doses. BCG vaccine stocks are generally stored frozen in freezer compartment.
The BCG vaccine storage temperature is 2 – 8 °C and has a shelf life of 24 months.
The BCG vaccine effective duration has been determined to be 15 years. The BCG vaccine is thought to be 80% effective.
The BCG vaccine scar is a characteristic raised scar often used as proof of immunization.
Before the BCG vaccination is done, except in infants, a tuberculin skin test must always be performed.
If the person tests positive then the BCG vaccine schedule does not apply to them.
This is because there are high chances of inflammation and the possibility that they will be left with an abnormal BCG vaccine scar.
The formation of the BCG vaccine scar is not necessary. It usually takes 3 to 6 months for the scar to form.
If there is no scar, one needs to do Mantoux test. If negative, one should give repeat BCG.
Some of the common BCG vaccine side effects are:
There are some rare side effects such as severe skin rash, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and wheezing.
If these symptoms occur when the BCG vaccine at home is taken, then the doctor should be informed immediately.
The BCG vaccine cost is not fixed and could vary at different facilities. The BCG vaccine price may seem a little steep but it is necessary to fight off tuberculosis.
BCG vaccine price for adults and kids remains largely the same.
BCG India started off as an initiative to completely immunize the country against tuberculosis.
It is to be given to all children as part of EPI schedule as recommended by Govt. of India.