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BCG stands for Bacillus Calmette Guerin, and BCG vaccine is given to provide your child protection against the life-threatening tuberculosis.
The BCG vaccine can be given soon after the birth. If you miss on vaccinating your baby immediately after birth, make sure it's done before the baby turns a year old.
The BCG vaccine protects your child from getting infected with tuberculosis, which in India is said to be the most life threatening disease after HIV.
The dose of BCG vaccine is typically given on left upper arm only. As soon as the vaccine is given, there will be a small swelling near the place which was injected. This stays for 6-8 hours and then disappears. The swelling will reappear after 6-8 weeks and grow into a lump, which will discharge some fluid. It gets healed by forming a permanent scar at that injected place. This typically is the sign that BCG vaccine was injected successfully.
1. Your baby has fever or cough.
2. Your baby is found infected with TB
Avoid pressing or rubbing the injected site as it shouldn't be fomented. You don't need to apply anything on the scar as it will go away on its own. There can also be some mild fever but no added complications.
Yes, there is no harm in giving it with other vaccines. In fact, BCG dose is given along with a zero dose of OPV and the 1st Dose of Hepatitis B at birth.
Though appearing of the scar isn't the sole guarantee of the vaccine's success, but it's the easiest way of determining its success. If the scar doesn't appear in 3-6 months post the dose, the baby must be made to undergo the Mantoux test. If the result is negative, the vaccine will have to be repeated.