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BCG vaccine - Definition


The bacillus Calmette-Guérin, commonly referred to now as BCG, is a strain of tuberculosis, the primarily respiratory infection caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis, that has been rendered harmless, and used as a vaccine. The BCG vaccine consists in inoculating BCG as a preventative measure. This inoculation used to be obligatory for newborns, up until 2007, but BCG vaccination is no longer strongly recommended today for babies of just a few months of age, notably in populations at risk, such as children born in countries with still high tuberculosis incidence, or in families where one member has contracted the disease, plans to travel regularly in high-incidence countries, or lives in the Paris region or in Guyana. It is possible to receive this vaccine up to 15 years of age. It does not totally immunize against tuberculosis, but can reduce the risk of contracting the most severe strains.