What is it?

Tuberculosis is a serious (sometimes life-threatening) infection of the lungs by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis can also affect other organs in addition to the lungs. 

The tuberculosis vaccine is called BCG, which stands for bacille Calmette-Guerin. This vaccine is not generally recommended in the US because tuberculosis is uncommon, and the vaccine has variable efficacy against tuberculosis in adults. In addition, BCG vaccination can cause a positive result on a tuberculin skin test (a test for tuberculosis infection).

Vaccine Information:

Active Ingredients:

Live, attenuated Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria

Inctive Ingredients:



  • Attenuated: The pathogen is weakened but not completely inactivated. Attenuated pathogens are too weak to cause disease in almost all people. 

  • Bacteria: A type of single-celled organism. Some can cause disease, but many are harmless and some actually benefit humans by living in the intestines and helping with digestion 

  • Bacterium: The singular of bacteria (one bacterium, two bacteria)