Who Is the BCG Vaccine Recommended For?


Quick Answer

The bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine for tuberculosis disease is recommended for certain children who have negative tuberculin skin test results and certain health care workers, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health care professionals do not typically recommend using BCG in the United States.

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Many countries with high rates of tuberculosis disease use the bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine to prevent infection in children, explains the CDC. Children with continual exposure to adults who are ineffectively treated or not treated for tuberculosis should be vaccinated, as should children exposed to adults who have isoniazid-resistant or rifampin-resistant tuberculosis infections.

Tuberculosis strains that resist rifampin and isoniazid have infected large numbers of patients and can infect health care workers, notes the CDC. Health care workers should receive counseling about the benefits and risks related to BCG vaccinations.

As of 2015, using a catheter to insert bacillus Calmette-Guerin into the bladder is an effective treatment for early-stage bladder cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. The BCG bacterium draws the body's immune system cells to the bladder, triggering the cells to attack the bladder cancer cells.

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