Tuberculosis (TB) Shots Are Available in Laredo, TX
TB shots—also known as the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine—can help prevent tuberculosis, a contagious bacterial infection that affects the lungs. The infection mainly spreads from person to person through the air. Whenever an infected person coughs or sneezes, tiny bacteria-containing droplets become airborne and can then be inhaled by an uninfected person. In many cases, the infection remains inactive, but in people who have a weakened immune system, TB can potentially overcome the body’s infection-fighting defenses and cause symptoms such as fever, coughing and chest pain.
TB shots are given to children in many countries that have a high incidence of tuberculosis. However, due to the relatively low risk of infection coupled with the vaccine’s potential interference with tuberculin skin test reactivity, TB shots are not generally recommended for routine use in the United States. With that said, the BCG vaccine may be considered for certain individuals.
When Are TB Shots Used in the U.S.?
Decisions regarding the use of the BCG vaccine are usually made in consultation with a tuberculosis expert. In general, TB shots may be recommended for people who:
- Have close contact with a person who is actively infected with TB and cannot take antibiotics to treat the infection
- Have close contact with a person who is actively infected with an antibiotic-resistant strain of TB
How Are TB Shots Given?
Unlike most vaccines, TB shots are not administered with a syringe. Instead, a liquid is placed directly onto the skin of the upper arm. Then, using a multi-pronged needle device, a health care provider will prick the skin underneath the liquid to deliver the vaccine into the shallow layers of skin. In addition to a slight pinching sensation when receiving the vaccine, some people experience flu-like symptoms for a few days afterward.
If you have questions about tuberculosis or would like to learn more about TB shots, contact or visit VitalMed Urgent Care in Laredo, TX. We offer a full slate of non-emergency health care services, including immunizations, on a walk-in basis.