How is BCG given?

BCG is given by intradermal injection on the right upper arm as follows:

  1. Inject 1 ml of diluent into the vial (brown) containing BCG. Gently turn the vial upside down at least five times until fully mixed. Do not shake.
  2. The reconstituted BCG vaccine can be stored up to 6 hours in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 °C.
  3. Draw up 0.05 ml of BCG vaccine in a sterile syringe (a special syringe to measure 0.05 ml accurately).
  4. Clean an area of skin over the right deltoid muscle (upper arm) with soap and water.
  5. Stretch the skin over the right deltoid muscle with your thumb and forefinger. Slowly insert the needle intradermally (bevel facing up). Insert the needle for less than 2 mm into the skin. The needle can be seen through the skin.
  6. Inject the 0.05 ml of vaccine. A weal (raised lump) indicates that the intradermal injection has been given successfully. The most common error is to inject under the skin when no weal will be seen. With no weal, start again at a different site and inject into the skin.

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