Friday, December 10, 2010

BCG vaccination - Who could give it?

While preparing for our trip to Malaysia, hubby consulted our family doctor which vaccines should Aelig take before the big departure. She sent the question to The Department of International Travel in the University Hospital of Nantes (CHU Nantes), who recommended BCG vaccine. Our doctor doesn't give this type of vaccination, he was told to contact CHU Nantes and receive the vaccine there. At that time, hubby thought babies need to get the vaccine in a special place.

We started contacting the hospital 3 months before our departure date. All our calls were redirected to an answering machine with a message saying that we could take an appointment with them through email, and that we will get a reply within two days. One month passed, albeit several attempts, we didn't manage to get someone on the phone, and we didn't get any reply from the mail.

So what should we do? I told my MIL about this problem, and she approached the hospital in her town for more information. She was told that no vaccine was necessary to go to Malaysia. I prefer to have second opinion before resting the case, so I talked to the pharmacist in our neighborhood. She confirmed that no special vaccination was necessary.

I went to see our doctor today, she insisted that we should get it done. Only then I realized it was for BCG. For me BCG is not a special vaccine for travel, during my time it was mandatory, I got vaccinated the second day after I was born. Hubby got it before he turned 3 months. But today we can only get it done in a a travel department under the hospital? That doesn't make sense to me.

I started asking around, a coworker who has two kids said it was the pediatrician who did it to her kids. I called her pediatrician but she was not in. I called a general practitioner in our area, the secretary said they no longer doing it. I tried my coworker's family doctor, she said I could come in for a visit, but it was not guaranteed that she would do it. At this point, I was a bit desperate so I seek help from my MIL. She called her family doctor and found out that neither she was doing it. Finally, she got the Protection Maternelle et Infantile (PMI), who finally agreed to give the vaccine but they are fully booked until mid January.

While scratching my head over a possible solution, my coworker thought that the whole situation was insane, that it was impossible that I would have so much troubles finding someone to give a BCG vaccine to Aelig. She suggested that I invent a story and call my pediatrician, to whom I was reluctant to call as with her I always have to take appointment several months in advance. Surprisingly, my pediatrician's secretary bought my story and agreed to receive Aelig on a Saturday morning (but she told me last time that the doctor does not work on Saturday!). Now, I got an appointment with my family doctor for the Mantoux test (to be performed several day before the real vaccination) and another appointment with the pediatrician to give the vaccination. BUT we got one big problem: CHU Nantes recommended us to do this at least one month before the travel! Now we will be 10 days before the travel, if Aelig has any negative reactions to this vaccine, we will be in big trouble.

Please pray for us.


  1. please be more careful about giving vaccination to baby as certain vaccine, if mishandled, or if the baby is allergic to it, can have serious complication. For eg, MMR is suspected to cause Autism among kids.
    So please double check or find out more information before giving it to Aelig.

  2. Sorry Jellyfish, but that MMR Autism link was debunked a long time ago- the lead author manipulated evidence and had conflicts of interest, the paper that was published was later retracted, and the doctor who declared this finding was barred from ever being able to practice medicine in the UK again.

    While it is certainly good to read up on any treatment that people require, just make sure your worries are not based on uninformed gossip.

  3. Thanks you all. It was Aelig's doctor who wanted her to have BCG vaccine before we go to Malaysia. It will be given by her pediatrician, so both doctors are recommending it.