Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease. This vaccine is not widely used in the United States, but it is often given to infants and small children in other countries where TB is common. Unfortunately, BCG is only partially effective. It provides some protection against severe forms of pediatric TB, but is not completely protective against disease in infants and is unreliable against adult pulmonary TB. BCG does not always protect people from getting TB.
In the United States, BCG should be considered for only select people who meet specific criteria and in consultation with a TB expert. Health care providers who are considering BCG vaccination for their patients are encouraged to discuss this intervention with the TB Control Program.