BCG vaccine is given to protect babies against tuberculosis (TB).
BCG vaccine stock in all areas expired at the end of April 2015 and as of today, March 1 2017, the HSE continues to experience ongoing delays with the supply of BCG vaccine. This continues to be a Europe wide issue.
The number of cases of TB has been steadily falling in Ireland. The number of cases of TB for the years 2014 and 2015 was at the lowest level since records began. Most European countries do not give BCG vaccine to all babies.
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), an independent expert group on immunisation and the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) have both recommended that BCG vaccine does not now need to be given routinely to all babies in Ireland.
So your baby is not at risk of TB and you do not need to delay any of your baby's injections.
This guidance on the preparation and administration of BCG and tuberculin has been drawn up following consultation with the Health Protection Surveillance Centre and international evidence and best practice.
This guidance should be reviewed following the publication of Irish regulations to comply with the 2013 EU Sharps Directive and when sterile plastic straws for drawing up vaccines are available as an alternative to needles.
- Dr Brenda Corcoran National Immunisation Office
- Dr Roswitha Junold, Senior Medical Officer, Dublin Mid Leinster
- Dr Deirdre Forde, Senior Medical Officer, Dublin Mid Leinster
- Dr Pasqueline Lyng, Senior Medical Officer, Department of Public Health, Dr Steevens Hospital
- Dr Ros Quinlan, Senior Medical Officer, Dublin North East
- Dr Barbara Senior, Area Medical Officer, Dublin Mid Leinster
Instructions for use of Tuberculin safety syringes (updated 27th January 2015)
Videos showing the administration of BCG vaccine (Dr Barbara Senior, Area Medical Officer, Dublin Mid Leinster)
Normal Speed Video
Slowed Down Video
Presentation - Administration of BCG Vaccine (Dr Barbara Senior, Area Medical Officer, Dublin Mid Leinster)
This page was updated on 16 March 2017