BCG VACCINE- INTRODUCTION
BCG vaccine stands for Bacillus – Calmette – Guerin. It offersprotection against Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis, even today, remains a major health problem in the world, particularly in the less developed nations. It can involve virtually any system of the body including the lungs, nervous system, abdomen, lymph nodes, bones, heart, to name a few.
TB primarily affects the lungs and usually manifests as:
- cough of long duration
- low-grade fever
- loss of appetite
- loss of weight.
Children are particularly susceptible to develop Tuberculous meningitis (Brain TB), a dangerous form of the disease. BCG significantly decreases the risk of Brain TB and other widespread forms of tuberculosis. Hence, this makes vaccination with BCG a must for every child where Tuberculosis remains a problem. Therefore, BCG is considered as an essential vaccine in many developing countries including India.