BCG Clinic – vaccine against tuberculosis
BCG vaccine is a vaccine against tuberculosis (TB). Although it is not part of the Australian National Immunisation Program it is available for people travelling to countries where the prevalence of tuberculosis is high. Please see link below for list of countries where tuberculosis is prevalent.
At CBD Doctors Melbourne we provide BCG vaccines for children between 3 months and 3 years of age: best between 6 months and their 3rd birthday. If your child has already travelled overseas, the vaccine should be given at least 3 months after arrival.
BCG vaccine is a live vaccine and can be given with other vaccines, especially at 12 and 18 months when live vaccines are given: measles mumps and rubella (MMR) at 12, and measles mumps rubella and chickenpox (MMRV) at 18 months. If it is not given on the same day as these but can be given one month after either MMR or MMRV were given. We would suggest that you talk to one of our general practitioners about this, so we can arrange BCG vaccine at the same time as MMR or MMRV.
The BCG vaccine is most effective at preventing severe disseminated tuberculosis disease in young children and has variable efficacy in preventing adult disease. It is well tolerated, but as every vaccine it has a potential for adverse effects: injection site abscess, local reaction or lymphadenitis.
It is contraindicated in patients who are immunocompromised, people living with HIV infection and children born to mothers treated with disease modifying antirheumatic drugs. BCG vaccine should not be given to people who had tuberculosis or people that had large reaction to Mantoux (skin tuberculin test). For Mantoux please see further below.
Travelling overseas with your child(ren)?
If you are planning to travel overseas (eg China, India or Vietnam), and your child has already had their childhood vaccines, we would suggest that you make an appointment to discuss travel vaccinations including BCG with one of the doctors. We will ask you: where you are travelling, when, how long for. It is also important to know if family members have tuberculosis. We will ask about your child’s general health as there are some contraindications to the vaccine.
It takes about three months for the vaccine to be effective, therefore you should book an appointment at least three months before you travel.
Please note: If your child has been exposed to a person infected with tuberculosis, or your child has travelled to area of the world with high prevalence of tuberculosis. Before the vaccine is given, the child would need so called Mantoux test (tuberculin skin test to evaluate if there was a previous exposure to tuberculosis. For that purpose, there will be TWO appointments.
It is a small amount of liquid injected into a child’s forearm where a little bleb is formed. We will wrap your child into a sheet to make it easier to inject. We also suggest that your child is fed shortly after.
The Mantoux test will be read 48-72 hours later. If the test is negative, your child will receive the BCG vaccine on the same day. The vaccine is given into the arm, with a small amount of liquid that leaves a small bleb on the skin.
Availability / Appointments
- Please book an appointment with a doctor in the afternoon between 3 and 4 pm (Dr Hua Zhang, Dr Jackson Lau, Dr Josh Ng.
- Special circumstances: Mantoux test on Wednesday. Follow up appointment with one of the doctors for reading of the Mantoux result 48-72 hours later and BCG vaccine.
- Child’s immunisation book
- Any referrals from your general practitioner
- Light sheet to wrap your child
- A bottle to feed your child.What to bring on the day of your appointment.
- BCG vaccine and consultation $302 ($79 rebate back from Medicare).
- If Mantoux test is needed, the appointment costs $172 – including consultation ($79 rebate back from Medicare).
- List of countries with a tuberculosis incidence of 40 cases per 100,00 persons or greater: link
- What is Tuberculosis? link
- Tuberculosis (TB) – including symptoms, treatment and prevention: link
Please fill in the below form when you book a BCG vaccination for your child.BCG Questionnaire and Consent Form