BCG or bacillus calmette-guerin vaccine is used to prevent tuberculosis. It is most commonly given to newborn babies who are at a higher risk of being affected with tuberculosis. Adults who are under high risk can also get this vaccine, which is also used as a treatment for bladder cancer. Although there are a few side effects, this vaccine is extremely useful to avoid diseases like tuberculosis, bladder cancer and even leprosy.
Tuberculosis is a serious disease and a highly contagious one. It generally affects the lungs, but it can affect other parts of the body also. Most of the symptoms are associated with lungs. However, the disease can spread to other parts of the body as well. The most common signs and symptoms are fever, chills, night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue.
Some children are at a greater risk of developing tuberculosis, especially those who live in a household with anyone with tuberculosis. Also, children who are infected with HIV or any other condition that weakens the immune system are also at a higher risk of getting tuberculosis.
The BCG vaccine is given to a baby or a child only if they have an increased risk of coming in contact with tuberculosis. The vaccine generally causes some pain and formation of blisters at the injection site. The injection is given intradermally, and it is possible that it could lead to an infection that might spread to the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes will be swollen and there will be redness in areas at the site that has been injected. After vaccination, a person might experience mild fever. All of these may lead to other symptoms like an upset stomach and fatigue. As there are a number of side effects caused by the vaccine, it is not recommended for anyone and everyone. Only those, especially children and babies, who are prone to getting tuberculosis are required to receive the vaccination.