There are certain individuals who should not receive the BCG vaccine, including:
- Immunosuppressed people
- Pregnant women.
The vaccine should not be given to people who are immunosuppressed (e.g., people who are HIV-infected) or who are likely to become immunocompromised (e.g., people who are candidates for organ transplant).
The BCG vaccine should not be given during pregnancy. Even though no harmful effects of the vaccine on the fetus have been observed, further studies are needed to prove its safety.
The BCG vaccine may interfere with the TB skin test, showing a positive skin test reaction in people who have received the vaccine. This complicates decisions about tuberculosis treatment, because it is not possible to tell whether a person has latent tuberculosis or a prior BCG vaccination. For these reasons, most tuberculosis treatment recommendations do not consider whether a person received the BCG vaccine.
(Click TB Skin Test for more information.)