Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious, infectious illness that takes a long time to cure. It’s spread by coughing from those who already have the disease.
Children under five years can be protected from the most harmful forms of TB by getting a free vaccination. This is called the BCG vaccine.
The vaccine does not prevent your child from being infected, but it will reduce the risk of them getting very ill if it’s given to them at the right age.
BCG vaccination clinics are running at this time
We have now restarted BCG vaccination clinics following disruptions caused by COVID-19.
If you have already requested an appointment we will contact you to organise this. You do not need to resubmit your request.
Demand is currently very high and we are working hard to vaccine as many children as possible. Thank you for your patience.
The BCG vaccine is available to children under five years old who:
If your child is five or older they are no longer eligible for the vaccine.
Children aged between 6 months and 5 years may need to have a tuberculin skin test first to detect whether they have already been infected with TB. This test is called the Mantoux test.
If your child has to have this test it will be carried out 72 hours before your child gets the vaccine. You’ll receive more information on this test when your child is booked in to get vaccinated.
To learn more about the BCG vaccine download our Frequently Asked Questions (PDF). These are also available in the following languages:
If you need help call the BCG team on 0800 367 224, Monday to Friday, between 8.00am and 4.30pm.
Information for parents and carers
Information for health professionals
Last updated 29.3.2022