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I had BCG vaccine but have no scar

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    Ok so Ive been accepted on an healthcare course and am going through medical checks etc. On the form it asks my gp if I have had the BCG vaccine (which i did when I was 14) and if I have a scar, but I have no scar. The gp had a look to confirm and said there was no scar and said occupational health might want to do some tests. I have very pale skin so maybe it didn't show up the same etc.

    The thing is all this time Ive considered myself lucky that I have no scar lol my friends looks like a huge pit and I see girls walking around with bad tb scars all the time. Its not that Im bothered about appearance its just that I personally don't want a scar like that and don't want another injection because Ive already had one Im not a fan of vaccines to start with. Does anyone know though what are the chances of me not being immune to TB if Ive no scar? Surely if Ive had the vaccine I must have at least some immunity it can't just dissapear inside me lol.
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    You probably just didnt pick and squeeze at it like all us did
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    Remember the test thing they gave you about a week before the vaccine? From what I remember it was a little bit like being stamped but with needles in a kind of...flower shape. Anyway, if you have no scar they'll probably give you this test again and if you've had the vaccine you will react to the test and you won't need another one. If you don't react to the test then you'll probably need the vaccine again.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Ok so Ive been accepted on an healthcare course and am going through medical checks etc. On the form it asks my gp if I have had the BCG vaccine (which i did when I was 14) and if I have a scar, but I have no scar. The gp had a look to confirm and said there was no scar and said occupational health might want to do some tests. I have very pale skin so maybe it didn't show up the same etc.

    The thing is all this time Ive considered myself lucky that I have no scar lol my friends looks like a huge pit and I see girls walking around with bad tb scars all the time. Its not that Im bothered about appearance its just that I personally don't want a scar like that and don't want another injection because Ive already had one Im not a fan of vaccines to start with. Does anyone know though what are the chances of me not being immune to TB if Ive no scar? Surely if Ive had the vaccine I must have at least some immunity it can't just dissapear inside me lol.

    Your immunity isn't related to your scar as far as you know. you'll get bloods taken and if there is no immunity I imagine they'll just give it to you again...

    I had to have a third MMR, I was suceptible to measles.
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    Can't they just do the test with the six needles thing in your forearm to check if you're immune? I think it's called the heaf or heath test or something...
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    (Original post by KateRosie)
    Surely it would be on your Doctor's notes?! Mine hardly shows up. And surely once you've had the vaccine it wouldn't just stop working. I didn't think they even give the BCG vaccine anymore do they?
    It is on the doctors notes but the form I have to fill in asks if a scar is present or not. I dont know if they still give it but my aunts a nurse and says that its still going around despite vaccinating everyone because of foreigners bringing it over from other countries.
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    [QUOTE=Anonymous]It is on the doctors notes but the form I have to fill in asks if a scar is present or not. I dont know if they still give it but my aunts a nurse and says that its still going around despite vaccinating everyone because of foreigners bringing it over from other countries.[/QUOTE]

    Dont be a racist prick
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    The scar doesn't relate to immunity the reason they ask if you have a scar in case people get confused and say they have and they haven't . If it's in your medical notes you'll be fine, if not you'll be tested for immunity the same as you were before you got it the first time.
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    I have absolutely no scar from mine, either! I've always been a little worried that it didn't work or something, but I suppose like other people have said they'll probably give you a HEAF test (I think that's what it's called) again to check if it worked... Let's hope it did and we can just count ourselves lucky that we don't have a huge blob on our arms
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    I dont have a scar either, im sure it will be fine & they can test if you have had it before- if its needed i think. I never had the flower one, i had the test as someone i had been in contact with had had it, so there are various forms. x
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    The HEAF test is no longer used, it's now the Mantoux test.
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    (Original post by bestie)
    The HEAF test is no longer used, it's now the Mantoux test.
    Oh, oops. My mistake! It's been a few years since I had my BCG :o:
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    I had my BCG when I was 13 and I don't have a scar (i'm also very pale)
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    I had my BCG at 14 and have no scar (again I'm also very pale)- I'm doing Medicine at the moment, so had to do the whole health check forms etc, but they were happy that as long as I had proof I'd had the vaccine I was ok. I did have to produce a letter from the occy health I'd had it at, as I hadn't a scar, but it wasn't a big deal.

    That said a girl on my course was in the same situation, went back and had a Mantoux test and it said she wasn't immune, so she had to be revaccinated, and she's ended up with a massive scar. I think i'll stick with the idea I had the vaccine therefore I'm immune.

    There are also people who have never had the test or the vaccine according to them, so I don't know how big a deal they're likely to make of it. Depends on exactly what you're going to be doing OP and the uni's policy.
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    You'll be given another test if proof is needed. I couldnt produce any proof i had it, so was told i might have to have the mantoux test. The an occupational nurse at the hospital decided there might be a scar and left it. I spent 30min in OH with 2 woman staring at my arms trying to decide.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)

    Dont be a racist prick
    It might not be particularly PC, but it's true.

    Anyway, on the original point, the BCG vaccine is nowhere near 100% effective, so it is entirely possible that you are not immune. The scar is one indicator of whether it worked, as if you have a big one it suggests you mounted a good response to the vaccine. If you don't, then either you didn't respond to it, or you just healed up better than most people. If you are likely to be working somewhere where TB is a risk, or going to another country where it's more common, having a Mantoux test is probably the first step in checking whether it worked or not. You can get this either from occy health or a travel clinic, depending on why you need to know.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Ok so Ive been accepted on an healthcare course and am going through medical checks etc. On the form it asks my gp if I have had the BCG vaccine (which i did when I was 14) and if I have a scar, but I have no scar. The gp had a look to confirm and said there was no scar and said occupational health might want to do some tests. I have very pale skin so maybe it didn't show up the same etc.

    The thing is all this time Ive considered myself lucky that I have no scar lol my friends looks like a huge pit and I see girls walking around with bad tb scars all the time. Its not that Im bothered about appearance its just that I personally don't want a scar like that and don't want another injection because Ive already had one Im not a fan of vaccines to start with. Does anyone know though what are the chances of me not being immune to TB if Ive no scar? Surely if Ive had the vaccine I must have at least some immunity it can't just dissapear inside me lol.
    The same happened to me aswell- I had mine done when i was 14/15 and the scar had gone by the time i was 19, and had to go through the whole thing again
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    You're lucky- I've got an awful BCG scar. I didn't mess about with it either.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Ok so Ive been accepted on an healthcare course and am going through medical checks etc. On the form it asks my gp if I have had the BCG vaccine (which i did when I was 14) and if I have a scar, but I have no scar. The gp had a look to confirm and said there was no scar and said occupational health might want to do some tests. I have very pale skin so maybe it didn't show up the same etc.

    The thing is all this time Ive considered myself lucky that I have no scar lol my friends looks like a huge pit and I see girls walking around with bad tb scars all the time. Its not that Im bothered about appearance its just that I personally don't want a scar like that and don't want another injection because Ive already had one Im not a fan of vaccines to start with. Does anyone know though what are the chances of me not being immune to TB if Ive no scar? Surely if Ive had the vaccine I must have at least some immunity it can't just dissapear inside me lol.
    Thats a real pain in the arse I'm afraid because health checks rely on the scar as proof of immunity.

    Not so bad for most people, but for anyone in a medical field it means having to explain and show documents a few times a year.
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    I had my BCG when I was 1 years old and they just about saw the scar.

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Updated: January 30, 2010
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