BCG vaccine protects infants and small children against serious forms of TB disease
BCG (which stands for Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) vaccine protects infants and small children against serious forms of TB disease such as TB meningitis and generalized TB.
Previously all children were vaccinated against TB in Finland. Since 2006, BCG vaccine is given only to children who are considered to be at increased risk for catching TB. The changes in vaccination were due to the reduction in the number of TB cases in Finland.
The vaccine is given usually to newborns. Over seven-year-old children are not vaccinated. The need for vaccination is determined by a physician. Vaccination is given free-of-charge. BCG vaccination is recommended for children
- who live with a family member or other person who once has had TB disease
- who was born in a country where TB is common or live with a family member or person who was born in a country where TB is common or
- who is within a year moving to a country where TB is common and will stay there over one month
BCG vaccination is also recommended if the child has a regular and close contact with a person
- who comes from a country where TB is common
- who has TB disease
- who is otherwise considered at risk for TB disease
BCG vaccination given to a child does not protect the person in adulthood.
Read more (only in Finnish) about BCG from the pages of National Institute for Health and Welfare
New, better and safer vaccines are being developed in the world.