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BCG / TB vaccine - Information for health professionals

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Human tuberculosis (TB) is caused by infection with bacteria of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. africanum or M.microti) and may affect almost any part of the body, the most common form is pulmonary TB., The symptoms of TB are varied and depend on the site of infection. General symptoms may include:

  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • night sweats and
  • fatigue

Pulmonary TB typically causes a persistent productive cough, which may be accompanied by blood streaked sputum or, more rarely, frank haemoptysis. Untreated, TB in most otherwise healthy adults is a slowly progressive disease that may eventually be fatal.

TB rates have been declining in Wales since 2009. Despite this, the disease remains a concern. Whilst total cases declined, the proportion of cases which are UK-born increased. These cases are often from populations reporting high levels of social risk factors such as homelessness, prison or drug use.

Summary of product characteristics

In all cases, BCG vaccine must be administered strictly intradermally, normally into the lateral aspect of the left upper arm at the level of the insertion of the deltoid muscle (just above the middle of the left upper arm – as recommended by WHO).

More information about the vaccine: Tuberculosis: the green book, chapter 32 - GOV.UK.



Vaccination programme recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and Welsh Government policy can be found at the links below.


Training resources and events

Online courses and training materials about a number of vaccines and diseases can be accessed via the E-learning page.

Further immunisation training information and resources are provided on the Training Resources and Events page.


Clinical resources and information

Patient group directions (PGDs) and protocols

PGD templates for the HPV vaccine can be found on the Patient group directions (PGDs) and protocols page.

Further clinical resources and information


Data and surveillance