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BCG Vaccine


Dear Team,

With my wife, who is Thai, we have a 7 month old baby. We currently live in Greece, where BCG vaccines are given after Mantoux testing at school, at age 6, by the state. Our pediatrician, if it were only about Greece, would rather be against it, since TB prevalence in Greece is very low, <5 cases per 100.000 of population and its efficiency is in doubt.

However, next December we plan to travel to Thailand for around 3 months. Thailand is considered an endemic region and BCG is given at birth.

Moreover, my wife's father, was diagnosed with pulmonary TB (coughing up blood included, almost died) 3 years ago, and supposedly has undergone treatment as required. (Personally, I cannot be 100% sure he is fully treated, due to the facts that i) my wife is telling me he still has some respiratory issues and ii) culture and education-wise I cannot trust him).

Since our baby will be 'exposed' to that environment (Thailand plus grandfather) and will meet her grandfather, maybe see him for a week or so, a few hours every day, not more,

1. Would you vaccinate the baby?

2. Would you have my wife blood-screened for latent TB? (she has had the vaccine when she was young but she was present at the time her father was sick).

3. Would you avoid the grandfather? (I don't know whether I write this for real or as a joke).

Things to consider: BCG is said to offer adequate protection for babies for the more serious TB cases, like disseminated TB and meningitis TB.

Thanking you in advance for your kind reply.

Best Regards,

Nick
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