What is the value of BCG immunisation?

Immunisation with BCG gives some protection against infection with wild TB bacilli. BCG gives good protection against miliary tuberculosis and tuberculous meningitis, especially in well nourished children. Unfortunately, BCG immunisation does not give total protection against tuberculosis. BCG should be given to all infants at birth.

BCG should still be given to newborn infants who have HIV positive mothers. However, BCG should not be given to children with clinical signs of HIV infection. Side effects from BCG are more common in HIV infected children.

Immunisation against measles and diphtheria also helps reduce the risk of tuberculosis.

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