International Bumpies

Tuberculosis/BCG vaccine

Has anyone's LO gotten this vaccine?

We are just outside central London and our health visitor recommended we get this vaccine. The area we live in is just on the high side of what they consider to be the cutoff for infection rates -- I guess it's just a pretty international area.

We are scheduled to get this tomorrow and I'm waffling about whether or not to go through with it. Normally I follow vaccine recommendations but this one I'm not so sure about it. I've read everything I can find about it, and I feel that DS's odds of getting exposed to TB are really, really low. And then I read about the side effects of the vaccine possibly lasting weeks or months, some of them skin-related, and after having battled several eczema flareups I hate the idea of something causing him discomfort, especially if we are already low on risk factors.

I guess I just need some reassurance that the side effects aren't all that bad if we decide to go through with it. Would appreciate hearing others' experiences with this vaccine.

As it is, we have been battling a cold and an intermittent low fever the last couple of days so we'll see if they even still want to give it to him. 

Re: Tuberculosis/BCG vaccine

  • My DD had it.  Was administered in the maternity hospital when she was 2 days old.  No reaction really to it other than at the site of the injection.  But it didn't bother her at all.  It scabbed up and didn't look the most pleasant but that just means the vaccine is going to be effective.

    I'm in Ireland, btw.  Not exactly a TB hotspot, but there have been recent incidents of it because the level of uptake a decade (or more) ago was poor.

    Lilypie Trying to Conceive 21 to 37 day cycle tickers
  • Thanks for sharing your experiences. We ended up not going in for the vaccine. DS was still running a low fever this morning. It just doesn't seem worth the extra stress to his system to process a vaccine for a disease that he has a slim chance of getting exposed to. Hope I don't regret it down the road!

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    If you find that there is an outbreak of TB in your area (you can probably ask your GP/health visitor for updates?) you can always take him in and get it then. But if he had a poor reaction now, you couldn't take it back! Does that make sense?

    (How old is your LO? I didn't respond originally, because I don't have any experience with this vaccine but I would probably only give it if I felt it was necessary once the child was school aged unless other factors presented.)

    He is 8 months. They recommend giving this vaccine before he is 1 year old, to be most effective. And then you can't give any other vaccines for 3 months afterward because it could cause glands to swell. So at 9 months would be our last chance to do it if we didn't want to throw our schedule off, as he should be getting some boosters at 12 months.

    My understanding is that here in the UK they used to require everyone to have this vaccine, I'm not sure at what age, but I don't think you could go to school if you didn't have it. Starting in 2005 they went to a more targeted approach and now only innoculate those who are considered high risk.  

    It is offered in our area because there were more than 40 cases per 100,000 people over a 3 year period. But I think that has a lot to do with the diversity of our area and people's country of origin. 

  • Hi, my son had it last year. We live in Bournemouth, but were going to South Africa in December so I felt it was important. You can get TB just by someone coughing on you in a grocery line. My sister ended up with TB and we had no idea until she was coughing up blood. Also do note that it can take up to 4 weeks after the vaccine has been administered for it to be effective to protect against being infected so if you are in a risk area and there is an outbreak it could be weeks before your child is protected against it.

    My son suffers with severe eczema, as in he has wet wraps and we see his dermatologist every 6 weeks so I was very worried when he had it. We had even delayed his MMR because one of the creams he uses weakens his immune system. My son had no reaction except for the horrible scabbing, and it has taken almost 9 months for it to heal properly, but I would still have it done again.

    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers
  • Yes, certain parts of London. 

    We are surrounded on 3 sides by areas where it is not offered. Looking at the map of how it breaks down, I'm uncertained how fine-grained the data is. 

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