Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is transmitted by inhalation of infected droplets from a coughing individual with open pulmonary tuberculosis. Occasionally it is transmitted via contaminated food/drink with Mycobacterium bovis.

(Extrapulmonary TB that does not involve the lungs is not usually contagious to others).

Vaccination schedule

Brand Vaccine information Primary course Booster

(Statens Serum Institute)

  • Live vaccine
  • Licensed from birth

Single dose

  • Under 12 months of age — 0.05ml of reconstituted vaccine
  • 12 months of age and over — 0.1ml of reconstituted vaccine


Not recommended

The information below is based on Public Health England recommendations; individual Summaries of Product Characteristics should be referred to for manufacturer recommendations regarding individual brands.

Acute illness

If a patient is suffering from an acute illness, immunisation should be postponed until they have recovered. Patients with minor infections without fever or systemic upset do not need to postpone their vaccination schedule.

Administration with other vaccines

Live vaccines – If other live vaccines are being administered they should ideally be given simultaneously, at a different site. If they cannot be administered the same time an interval of four weeks is recommended.

Inactivated vaccines – no interval is required between the administration of inactivated vaccines and BCG vaccine, however, they should be administered at different sites.

**Public Health England recommends that no further immunisations should be given in the arm used for the BCG immunisation for at least three months.**

Immunocompromised patients

BCG vaccination is contraindicated in patients who are immunocompromised.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

No harmful effects due to BCG vaccination during pregnancy have been reported, however, it is best to avoid during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester if possible.

BCG vaccination is not contraindicated during breastfeeding.