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BCG for a baby??

(26 Posts)
Igglybuff Tue 01-Dec-09 16:48:55

My two month DS has been booked in for a BCG next week. He's just had his 8 week jabs. I didn't really think about giving him them but I feel uneasy about giving him the BCG at such a young age. I remember how much it hurt when I had it.

I live in London so probably why offered - however I'm not part of a high risk group.

Can someone reassure me that I'm making the right decision to cancel the jab?

PrettyCandles Tue 01-Dec-09 16:58:20

When my first two dc were born, we lived in Brent - a TB hotspot - so they had the BCG. But I was told that they must either have the jab well before they begin the first series of immunisations, or at least one month after they finish that set of imms.

Ds1 and dd had the BCG at about 6m. Had they actually been born in Brent, they would have been offered the BCG at birth.

I thought it reasonable for them to have the jab as, while we are not an at-risk group, when they went to playgroups and nursery they would be among higher-risk children.

capstock Tue 01-Dec-09 17:00:02

If it helps when DS had his jab it didn't seem to bother him really, I was worried it would be painful too.

Rindercella Tue 01-Dec-09 17:02:39

DD had the BCG when she was a couple of weeks old - it was the first jab she had, sO I remember it well. It seemed quite bad at the time, but really it wasn't. There's still a mark from it on her arm now though (she's 2.3 yrs), which came up a while after the injection and seemed quite big for a bit. DD had the BCG as she's mixed race, and therefore apparently a high risk group (although DH and I are both English yadda, yadda, yadda).

Buda Tue 01-Dec-09 17:06:52

In Ireland they do it in the hospital before you leave generally. Of course I managed to have DS on a bank holiday weekend so missed the day they did them and actually had to take DS for his. It was fine. Honestly.

cece Tue 01-Dec-09 17:11:12

All 3 of mine had them in hospital before we left se were less than 24 hours old). All seem fine then and now. No problems involved in having them with me or my children.

Igglybuff Tue 01-Dec-09 17:15:05

I guess I think he could wait until he's older eg before he goes to nursery as opposed to now. I'm mixed race but where I live I don't think it's a hot spot - thinking about it now, the HV asked me where my parents were from (Nigeria/England) so maybe that's why he's been offered. But I don't think it's automatic in my borough.

I guess as he's being subjected to so many vaccinations (well, being offered - I've not decided on the others) I don't think he needs the BCG as well just yet.

frakkinaround Tue 01-Dec-09 17:35:26

It will hurt him more when he has to have it later. I had mine as a baby and don't remember it (obviously). Other people still remember theirs and how much it hurts. TB is a very serious disease, DH2Bs sister had it and nearly died, so protecting anyone in an at-risk grup is really important. You may not be at risk personally but the minute your child is out in the local community they're being exposed to all sorts of germs and London is such a melting pot of people that it's always a risk.

If it were my child and they were being offered it I would take it because there must be a reason so sorry but I don't personally think you're making the right decision.

displayuntilbestbefore Tue 01-Dec-09 17:37:28

I also had mine as a baby because I was born in an inner city hospital and it was routien to give it to all babies. I didn't have any health impairments as a result and was glad not to have to have it at school when friends suffered the jab as older children!
If there's a high risk due to geography of where you live, I would agree with frakkinaround.

EldonAve Tue 01-Dec-09 17:58:55

I would have happily given it to mine
If we lived 100 yards down the street we would have been offered it but that's the postcode lottery for you

Igglybuff Tue 01-Dec-09 18:02:56

Well frakkin I'm still not sure because they're not offering it to every baby in my borough and he's not in a high risk group. So why does he need it now? I think later would be better so I can think carefully - perhaps before he hits nursery. If I genuinely thought he was at a higher risk then I'd get it asap.
I'm not worried about him remembering the pain - it's just that he had jabs today, has more in 4 weeks so does he need to be even more overloaded at this age?I didn't even know they gave babies a BCG until recently - i thought it was given at secondary school.

frakkinaround Tue 01-Dec-09 18:22:41

Have you asked your HV why he's being offered it? Was he born in a different borough where it is routine and it's on his notes that it got missed? I'm really sorry if this sounds didactic but you have no way of knowing if he's a higher risk according to the charts HVs etc use to assess risk because all you have to go on in your lifestyle and your experience. They may know that there's been an increased number of TB cases in the borough, a shifting population, a high proportion of ethnicities classed as at risk from TB etc. In the 80s all babies born in Hammersmith & Fulham were automatically vaccinated at birth and I doubt that most people in that area would consider themselves high risk!

He may need it now because it has to be staged with other childhood imms (can't have injections in that arm for a few months so doing it between stage 1 and stage 2 imms prevents them using both arms for that) or because it's only free for a certain amount of time and he might be classed as at risk when he does go to nursery.

I think you need to discuss with your HV before cancelling. And yes, I do permanently look for the worst case scenario - call me overcautious but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

They won't do the immunisations in the same arm he's just been done in.

PrettyCandles Tue 01-Dec-09 18:29:09

If it's any help, the reason I had ds1 and dd done at 6m was because I felt that was well after all the other first imms were over, and yet left plenty of time for their arms to recover before the MMR and before they began getting very active. It can take several weeks (months, in ds1's case) for the injection site to heal completely.

catinthehat2 Tue 01-Dec-09 18:36:52

I'm sorry I thought this was a name thread, and was preparing a disparaging comment along the lines of why on earth would you name a child after a vaccine?

<gets coat, shoots self>

Igglybuff Tue 01-Dec-09 18:44:13

grin catinthehat2*

I will speak to the HV about it. I know that not everyone has been offered it in my borough (we live in the borough where he was born).

PrettyCandles - that is one of my concerns, how long it takes to heal! Which is a reason for waiting I think.

Igglybuff Tue 01-Dec-09 18:45:45

*frakkin(, sorry that was a rather brief reply - about to jump in the shower before DS wakes for feed..! I think speaking to the HV before cancelling is a good idea as they may allay my concerns.

TinyPawz Tue 01-Dec-09 18:51:10

DD got hers at 3 days old. Didn;t bother her butit bothered the hell out of me!

frakkinaround Tue 01-Dec-09 19:02:04

No worries! Sometimes HVs do talk sense When they're not talking about weaning.

Obviously it's up to you but I really, really can't stress enough how important the BCG vaccine could be if you were high-risk. DH2Bs sister survived but was very, very ill and remained weak for years, has had to have all sorts of chest x-rays and is still prone to chills, chest infections and all sorts.

Hope you had a good shower!

Igglybuff Tue 01-Dec-09 20:45:33

I managed 15 mins in the shower - this is a luxury for me nowadays
Yes, TB is not something I want to risk DS getting so will give the HV a ring tomorrow.

Sidge Tue 01-Dec-09 21:08:38

I imagine they have recommended the vaccine as your son has a parent and/or grandparent from a country that has endemic TB.

The vaccine must be given in the arm, but all other baby jabs under the age of one are given in the legs so there is no risk of him having another vaccine in the same arm. He won't be able to have a live vaccine in the same arm for at least 3 months but the only routine live vaccine he would be due would be MMR and that isn't given until 13 months.

The vaccine itself rarely seems to make babies unwell, and even the 'blister' that develops on the arm isn't usually sore, just looks unsightly!

TinyPawz Tue 01-Dec-09 21:28:06

Yes Sidge that is why DD got hers. My xh is from Zim and we were thinkng about moving there.

Igglybuff Tue 01-Dec-09 21:47:11

My dad is nigerian but haven't seen him since I was 4 (and that was the once) and have no contact with him - don't even know him! Maybe that's why then - the HV did ask my ethnic origin. If that's the case then less need to have the BCG right now - DH and I think we might wait til 6 months after discussing with HV first.

tinalouiseuk Fri 04-Dec-09 16:21:40

I think you are right to question overloading such a very young child with vaccines so close together.

From personal experience - we had no problems avoiding this vaccine and no ill effects.

Good luck with your research and decision - it is indeed better to be safe than sorry and that is why we question these things

Igglybuff Fri 04-Dec-09 18:46:34

tinalouise I've postponed it now - they said he could have it at 6 months so gives us time to decide. He was offered it because of where my dad is from so risk of exposure but as I have nil contact with that side of my family (don't actually know them) then the risk is non existent from that perspective. If my dad was English, I wouldn't not have been offered the jab. So I'm comfortable with my decision

raykee Tue 09-Nov-10 17:14:06

I am taking my 6mo DS to Aus from London and transiting through Singapore for refueling for less than 2 hours at airport. The HV has recommended him getting BCG before he travels. I wld like to avoid giving him too many injections but don't want to expose him to too much risk. Has anyone haad any experience with this or have any thoughts?

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