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Training and Education Resources for BCG Vaccine

TB educators frequently receive questions regarding bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine and its effectiveness. TB educators also need the background information on BCG when teaching health care workers about TB skin testing or other issues related to TB. This article provides a brief overview of BCG and includes a list of helpful websites and resources.

BCG is a vaccine against TB disease. BCG is used in many countries with a high prevalence of TB to prevent childhood tuberculous meningitis and miliary disease. However, BCG is not generally recommended for use in the United States because of the low risk of infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the variable effectiveness of the vaccine against adult pulmonary TB, and the vaccine’s potential interference with tuberculin skin test reactivity. The BCG vaccine should be considered only for very select persons who meet specific criteria, and in consultation with a TB expert.


The Role of BCG Vaccine in the Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis in the United States . (PDF) MMWR April 26, 1996. This guideline is old, but still relevant.

Additional websites that might be helpful include:

CDC. BCG Vaccine (Fact Sheet)

MedLine Plus. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) Vaccine

Healthy Roads. Just the Facts About BCG & TB (PDF)

Healthy Roads. Just the Facts About BCG & TB (multimedia format)

For other resources that have information regarding BCG, check the TB Education and Training Resources - Find TB Resources

—Reported by Millie Blackstone, RN, MPH
TB Nurse Coordinator
Arizona Department of Health Services

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