The Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine is not administered in the U.S. anymore because the rate of incidence of tuberculosis is very low in this country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website states, “BCG is not generally recommended for use in the United States because of the low risk of infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the variable effectiveness of the vaccine against adult pulmonary TB, and the vaccine’s potential interference with tuberculin skin test reactivity”.
Also, this website states that the BCG vaccine should only be considered for the people who meet specific criteria and under the supervision of a tuberculosis expert. The tuberculin skin test is done to test tuberculosis among BCG vaccinated people. This test is known to give false-positive reactions that can confuse a doctor with prescribing the correct medication.
Besides this, the BCG vaccine is specifically designed for children to be administered at the time of birth. The BCG vaccine does not prevent getting infected with the bacteria but inhibits the development of the disease. By this logic, the efficiency of the BCG vaccine will be at its maximum when administered just after birth.
However, the BCG vaccine can be administered to the adult population as well. The CDC website has discussed the scenarios in detail under which the BCG vaccine can be administered or not. According to the Vaccine Knowledge Project by the University of Oxford website, the BCG vaccines contain live bacteria which are weakened so that they create immunity in the body and not cause disease in healthy people. Hence, the efficiency of the BCG vaccine in adults remains under question.
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