The BCG tuberculosis (TB) vaccine is offered to babies through a referral process only for babies under 1 year old, living in Hounslow or Richmond.
All babies born at West Middlesex University Hospital are routinely offered the BCG vaccine . We are informed that West Middlesex Hospital will contact parents directly to offer a catch up programme.
In Hounslow, we routinely offer the BCG vaccine to all babies under 1 year old, regardless of which hospital they were born at. In Richmond there is a criteria list to complete to determine risk that needs to be met before babies are immunised If your baby lives in Hounslow or Richmond boroughs but was not born at West Middlesex Hospital - ask your health visitor about a referral.
There may be a delay in appointment bookings due to a national shortage of the vaccine currently.
Advice for parents on the BCG vaccine:
1. Whilst it is unlikely that your baby if he /she does develop a temperature or become fretful,or if you have any concerns discuss with your GP, Pharmacist or Phone the NHS advise line on 111 for advise on the use of paracetemol (Calpol).
2. Leave the injection site to air, do not cover with plasters.
3. You can bath your baby as normal.
4. The injection site may swell and be quite large, i.e. the size of a 10p coin or more. If the site is larger than a 10p coin, seek advice from your GP as soon as possible.
5. If redness or swelling moves away from the injection site, or if there is any swelling at the child’s armpit seek advice from your GP as soon as possible.
6. The injection site may also look like an abscess, and can take up to three months to heal. This is positive as it shows the vaccine and your child’s immune system is working.
7. If the site is oozing and you want to take your baby swimming, apply a dressing for a short time only.
8. Please do not squeeze the injection site or ulcer formed by the vaccine.
9. If the site has not healed after 3 months, seek advice from your GP as your baby may require follow up treatment.
10. Your baby can still start their routine immunisations, however you should make sure that your baby is not given another injection in the same arm as the BCG for at least 3 months.