Baby vaccinations

BCG (Tuberculosis) Vaccination in Japan – my baby’s scar

Many parents worry in Japan about whether or not to give their baby the BCG (Tuberculosis) vaccination. One of the reasons is that it can leave a 9-hole scar on your baby’s forearm, which of course everyone would like to avoid! We personally decided to go ahead with the vaccination, as we are living in Japan long-term and chose to follow the Japanese vaccination schedule for our baby. So, just to give you an idea, here is a video and some photos to show our baby’s BCG scar after nearly 1.5 years. Every baby tends to scar differently though, so this is just one example.




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10 thoughts on “BCG (Tuberculosis) Vaccination in Japan – my baby’s scar

  1. Amina says:

    Thank you for sharing! Did you use any creams or anything on your baby’s arm to make the scars fade away?

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Amina, I just used baby moisturizer once a day after his bath. I’m not sure if this helped, but I think it at least kept the area on his arm soft and moisturized:)

      1. elena says:

        Hi.Love your blog I live in Japan and my baby had his BCG vacvine today.the horror…the doctor pushed realy hard the stamp in his skin ..I was feeling her power while she was stamping him.Do you know if it is normal?I hope she didn’t do it too deep to apear any infection.

  2. cj says:

    Great set of photos. Thanks! I will have a read of the rest of your blog.

    Our little boy had his BCG 2.5 months ago and it has started to look very red so seeing the same thing in your little one is reassuring.

  3. Ameya says:

    Thanks for all your articles.This is my first reference as we are in Japan . Eventhough I am in Nagoya, your blogs helped me every time when I have doubts on baby products, vaccinations and so on. Keep on sharing!

    1. Kate says:

      Thank you Ameya!! xx Kate

  4. Michelle Lin Smith says:

    Hi Kate! Thanks for sharing this information. How does the scar look on your baby now? Supposedly with this type of “stamping” procedure, there will be no/little scars. I was wondering if all clinics in Tokyo uses this procedure? Can you recommend a good one for foreigners?

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Michelle, the scar on both of my children is invisible now. Thankfully! Most kids have the BCG at their local ward clinic. If you ask at the kuyakusho (city hall) they will be able to tell you where to get the BCG in your area. Best wishes, Kate

  5. Dawn Ward says:

    I’ve been in japan for four years now and we foolishly avoided it at the 5-8 months due to worry over the pain and scarring. Wishing now that we had done it at this age as it would have gone unnoticed by bambino. Today he is two and half and we are doing it. I’m anxious about how he’s going to take it and pain after, fewer, side effects, symptoms etc. any feedback? Thank you so much, Dawn x

  6. Enji says:

    Thank you so much! I was just wondering about the scaring and very glad i found this information. Definitely helped toput my mind at ease.

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