BCG shot woes

My kids got their shots at the end of October. Almost 2 months in, and the wounds are still, ah, oozing and such. The kids also tell me that it hurts. The most I ever remember a shot hurting was tetanus, and that was only for a few days. I did get BCG as a kid but don’t remember it at all (probably as a baby).

We started covering the wounds with a layer of sterile gauze taped on with medical tape. I wonder if that is hindering scab formation?

Last night during bathtime the youngest started scratching at the wound hoping it would go away. Cue the bleeding… And tears :persevere:

I took one of them to see the doctor, who said it was normal for ~3 months after the shot. Maybe they’d start worrying about it after 6 months.

Is there a better way to go about this that I’m missing?

I think that’s not much more you can do.
Covering the wounds may had delayed the scarring, so leave it open. And try to not scratch it.

How old are your kids?
They all took it at the same time?


I’ve noticed a lot of girls here with hideous jab scabs, really big lumps. Not sure why…some sort of over reaction at site of jab I guess.

You should not cover it. Keep it dry and give it air.

Almost everyone gets a scar, it’s just the way it is. I have it.

Yeah, I remember this happening. Don’t recall how long it took to go away, though; I assume it varies.

Not much you can do, unfortunately.

If you must cover it (likely due to young kids picking at it) try using a very large piece and tape it like a square. Then it breathes and they cant mess with it too much. I used like a 5x5cm section to stop kids from itching but allows at least minimal airflow. Then during books, after showers and similar times of direct child/parent contact leave it open while you can be next to them to swat away incoming scratch attacks.

Of course also have a meaningful conversation with the kids. Even if they are 1 year old. Mature message delivered in whatever language that kid might comprehend. Us adults tend to underestimate what kids are capable of understanding and we blame our lack of effective communication on their immaturity. Generally they understand when given the right keywords :slight_smile:


Wise words!

It’s because people of Asian (along with sub-Saharan African and Latino ) ancestry are prone to keloids.


Thanks for all your replies. Much appreciated to hear I’m not the only one Tonight I tried keeping dry the area where they had their shots, although during baths it was close to impossible. However, I did talk to them (good idea) and explained that they must not scratch, and that we should do our best to keep it dry. The middle gal did a good job of keeping the area dry, and the youngest didn’t scratch this time.

We’ll try leaving the gauze pad off in the evenings and during the daytime when nothing’s going on.

The kids are all different ages, but we only moved to Taiwan a few years ago and I’d been putting off getting them BCG because they hadn’t been attending public schools and, I was a little doubtful of the effectiveness of this shot in its ability to prevent TB. (The kids have all the other vaccines.) Well anyway, this year was the nice kick in the butt I needed to make sure they got BCG. Seems it’s good for training the immune system and has protective effects against a number of other pathogens.

What really?! I have never heard that (except that it’s more common in the African population).


BCG shots do indeed take a very long time to heal. Don’t worry it will be fine.
In Germany they do not make those due to low risk and those side effects.


Thank you. I can definitely see how parents might not be rushing to get this vaccine considering the amount of hassle it can cause, especially if the benefits are low.

The risk in Asia is much higher, so a bit extra protection is not bad. Unless you plan to move back with your family in a few years.

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