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Tuberculosis BCG vaccination

Tuberculosis BCG vaccination

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Tuberculosis (also called TB) is a bacterial infection that usually affects the lungs but can infect virtually any part of your body. Tuberculosis is the highest infectious disease killer with 1.3 million deaths every year (that’s even more than HIV). An estimated 10.6 million people fell ill with TB in 2022 (5.8 million men, 3.5 million women, 1.3 million children) and yet it’s preventable and curable with medication. The risk of severe TB disease in young people can also be reduced by the BCG vaccine.

Tuberculosis, what is it?

Tuberculosis vaccination

The tuberculosis vaccine, also called the BCG (Bacille Calmette Guerin) vaccine, doesn’t prevent you from developing TB, but it can reduce the risk of severe TB disease, such a TB meningitis (inflammation of the lining around the brain) and miliary TB (TB infection of the blood stream). 

A Tuberculosis Vaccination started from £107 per dose. If you’re travelling then there will also be a Travel Consultation cost of £30 per person, however, if you’re not travelling then it’s only the vaccination cost you pay. 

Tuberculosis vaccine price

Dr Ravi Gowda

Dr Ravi Gowda, Consultant in Infectious Diseases or one of his highly trained clinical colleagues will be looking after your  vaccine requirements. 

Who will be providing your Tuberculosis vaccination?
We're a team of trained experts

Experts in Infectious Diseases

and Travel Medicine

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Over 21 years of experience in Travel Health

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Cared for more than

10,000  patients

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Over 150 5 star reviews on Google Reviews

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1. Book an appointment online

Book and pay for your vaccination consultation online.

2. Attend your consultation

Complete an online health assessment and attend your consultation.

3. Get your Tuberculosis vaccination

Get the vaccination you need and you're ready to go.

How it works
Prevention icon

TB is a serious disease spread through the air. Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent or slow down the spread of disease. Prevention methods include vaccination, early diagnosis, quarantine, and medication treatment. We also recommend simple health and hygiene measures as ways to stop the spread.

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TB treatment usually consists of multiple drugs over several months, but vaccination is also important. Although the vaccination doesn’t prevent you from developing TB, it can considerably reduce the risk of severe symptoms of the disease, such a TB meningitis.

Tuberculosis treatment
Symptoms icon

If you’re healthy and get infected with TB, you may not develop any symptoms and this is called latent tuberculosis. Even if you only have latent TB, you might still develop symptoms in later life. If you do develop symptoms (active TB) it can affect any of your organs but it’s usually your lungs (pulmonary TB) Common symptoms of TB include: - Fever - Tiredness - Night sweats - Weight loss - Loss of appetite - Coughing with or without sputum lasting more than 3 weeks - Coughing up blood As TB can spread to anywhere (for example bones, spine,brain and lymph nodes) Other symptoms can include: - Swollen glands - Pain in your joints or spine - Swollen joints - Headaches - Confusion - A stiff neck

Tuberculosis symptoms
Causes icon

For thousands of years, TB was thought to be a hereditary condition until Robert Koch discovered Mycobacterium tuberculosis in 1882. This discovery then led to the development of the TB skin test and eventually the BCG vaccine (Bacille Calmette Guerin) in 1921. TB can affect anyone, anywhere in the world though it’s more common throughout Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and South America. TB is an airborne disease infectious organism and is spread through the air when someone coughs, sneezes, speaks, laughs or sings. The first infection is usually in the lungs when you breathe in the bacteria, but it can travel anywhere from there including your lymph nodes, bones and in serious cases the brain. You’re generally at low risk of TB infection but your risk is increased in the following scenarios: - Visiting friends or family in a country with a high incidence of TB - Health care workers anywhere in the world - Long term travellers to countries with a high incidence of TB - If you're in close, or have prolonged contact with someone who has an active lung tuberculosis You’re also more likely to develop active TB: - If you’re a young child, - If you have certain underlying health conditions such as HIV, cancer, poorly controlled diabetes, kidney disease and malnutrition.

Tuberculosis causes
Side effects icon

Please note that if you have a weakened immune system then you shouldn’t have the BCG vaccine. You’re unlikely to get side effects from the BCG vaccine, but if you do, they’re generally mild. The more common side effects are: - Soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site - Fever - Headache - Discharge from the injection site - Swollen glands under the armpit in the arm where the injection was given Once you or your child has had the BCG immunisation, it’s quite normal for a small ulcer (sore) to develop at the injection site, which may leave a small BCG scar once it’s healed. This is a normal reaction to the BCG vaccination and you shouldn’t be concerned.

Tuberculosis vaccine side effects
  • The BCG vaccine is up to 80% effective against some of the most severe forms of tuberculosis, such as TB meningitis, but it does not stop you from getting the TB infection.

  • BCG vaccine can last up to 15 years but it’s only given once.

  • No, you should only have the BCG vaccine once in your lifetime, so you don’t need to have a booster

  • You should have the BCG vaccine if you are:

    • A baby living in areas of the UK with higher TB rates

    • A baby or child living with someone who has TB

    • A baby or child who was born in or is living in countries with higher TB rates

    • A baby or child whose parents or grandparents were born in a country with higher TB rates

    • Under the age of 35 and are spending over 3 months in a country with higher TB rates

    • Someone who’s more likely to come into contact with TB through your work (eg healthcare workers)


    If your child is 6 years or older then you’ll need to have a TB Quantiferon (also sometimes called an IGRA test) before you can have the BCG vaccine. Health Klinix offers the TB Quantiferon test (IGRA) but not the Mantoux skin test. 


    Health Klinix also offers the BCG vaccine for newborns and infants to anyone up to the age of 35 years. After the age of 35 years, we don’t routinely offer the TB vaccine as it may not be effective.

  • If you, the baby, or the babies grandparents are from a country with high incidence (more than 40,000 cases per 100,000 of population) then your baby will routinely be offered the BCG vaccine at birth in the UK. If your baby does not fall into the above category then Health Klinix can still offer the vaccine following a careful risk assessment.

  • No, not all people have a reaction after the BCG vaccine, so there’s no need for it to be repeated.

  • If you’re simply travelling in a high incidence country, for example, India, then you don’t routinely need BCG vaccination. Please have a look at our BCG 'who should be vaccinated?' FAQ above for specific situations when you might need TB vaccine.

  • No, if you’re pregnant then you should not have the TB vaccine.

  • This can be very variable but varies from a few weeks to 2-3 months from the time of infection to you showing symptoms of TB. In some cases it can even take many years.

  • Yes, TB is contagious. Although not as contagious as measles, it still spreads through the air. So when someone who has TB coughs or sneezes they release tiny droplets and if you breathe in these droplets then you may catch TB.

Frequently asked questions


Dr Ravi Gowda, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine


Caitlin Lancaster, BSc