Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Charlene Meintjes | 2009/10/23


BCG Injection - no red mark on baby' s arm. PLEASE HELP!!!!!

My baby was given the BCG (TB) injection in hospital. When I took her for her 6 week check up, the Paediatricion told me that she would have to go for another TB shot, as " it did not take"  on her - as there is no bump or red mark on her upper arm. When I spoke to various sisters at various family planning clinics, they told me that all children are not the same and that not all of them will leave that red mark (pimplish mark) on their arm and that it is dangerous to do another TB shot if the baby has already had one. I evenmentioned this to my Gynae, and he, too, told me that my baby will have to go for another TB shot. I have no idea who to believe and am very worried as to whether or not my baby should go for another TB shot or not? I was told that if babies go for a second TB shot, there will be a possibility of the baby developing TB....Please help, as I need to urgently take steps if this is the case.

Expert's Reply



There is really no need for concern. Firstly the BCG immunisation protects your baby against TB and an immunisation will not cause TB. The vaccine does not even contain the TB bacteria.If your baby does not seem to have had a successful BCG at birth the way forward is to do a Mantoux test which will answer the question as to whether she has resistance to TB or not. There is no need to rush to have a second BCG immunisation. The TB test can be done when your baby is 3 months or older and then once the result is known the paediatrician can decide whether she needs a second BCG or not.

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