The most “noticeable” vaccination in the shoulder: what is it done and why does the scar remain?

How to get vaccinated against coronavirus? detailed instructions

February 11, 2021

Mass vaccination against coronavirus is underway in all regions of Russia. Russians are receiving Sputnik V, and in the spring two more vaccines will be added: EpiVacCorona and the drug from the Chumakov Center. In total, 68.6 million people are planned to be vaccinated in 2021 – that’s 60% of the population.

So far there is not enough vaccine for everyone. It is first distributed among priority groups: doctors, social workers, people with chronic diseases. After the third phase of testing of Sputnik V, people over 60 years of age were added to this list.

However, anyone can sign up for a vaccination. The sooner you do this, the faster you can get the vaccine.

Treatment Abroad specialists have prepared detailed instructions on how to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

What are the names of the first vaccines given to newborns in the maternity hospital?

The first vaccination in the maternity hospital is carried out 4-6 days after birth. The drug used promotes the development of the correct response of the immune system to pathogens that cause the development of tuberculosis. For immunization, types of vaccines such as BCG and BCG-M can be used.

BCG vaccine

The first option contains twice as much pathogen protein (antigen) as the second. The listed drug options contain live attenuated bovine mycobacteria. The drug for immunization against tuberculosis is available in dry form.

Only healthy newborns weighing more than 2500 g are vaccinated with BCG. Premature infants weighing over 2000 g, newborns who have developed hemolytic disease or have disorders in the nervous system, as well as children who, for any reason, do not were vaccinated in the maternity hospital and given BCG-M.

If a child has absolute contraindications, vaccination is not carried out. BCG and BCG-M vaccinations are given to infants only with the consent of the mother.


How many times is the injection given?

There is an official vaccination calendar, according to which BCG vaccination is carried out three times in life. The first time is immediately after birth, provided that the injection does not harm the baby. If there are contraindications, vaccination is postponed for two months.

Such a delay will not affect the child, but if the delay is more than three months, a Mantoux reaction test is performed before BCG. Vaccination can be done if the Mantoux test result is negative.

At what age is revaccination performed?

The remaining mandatory BCG injections are given at ages 7 and 14, according to the state program.

Why are three BCG vaccinations required for children?

This arrangement allows you to develop protection against the tuberculosis bacillus, as well as stimulate the natural progress of the child’s immune threshold.

First of all, this applies to children with a predisposition to tuberculosis or if there are relatives affected by this disease. If necessary, the results of the disease are deciphered in the hospital.

BCG vaccination is done intradermally, in the left shoulder. It is strictly forbidden to do it subcutaneously or intramuscularly, as this can only harm the child. If circumstances arise in which the vaccination cannot be carried out intradermally in the left shoulder, then the injection is made in the thigh. It is this place on the human body that has thick skin suitable for BCG.

Considering all the usefulness of vaccination, according to medical statistics, in the Russian Federation, 35% of parents refuse to give an injection at the birth of a child in the maternity hospital, and 56% refuse to carry out revaccination.

What is the reason for this trend?

Shoulder vaccination: what is it given at birth?

Both BCG and BCG-M are vaccinations designed to protect against primary forms of tuberculosis, as well as more dangerous extrapulmonary manifestations of the disease (bone lesions and meningitis), which are difficult to diagnose and treat.

If a mother signs a written refusal to undergo vaccination, she must understand how much risk she is exposing her child to.

In such a situation, you should carefully monitor who the child comes into contact with and, if possible, avoid any interaction with infected people. In this case, it is impossible to guarantee that in the future the newborn will not encounter an infection and become infected.

Children who have been immunized can also become infected. But thanks to their developed immunity, the disease occurs in a mild form, after which it heals spontaneously.

What vaccination leaves a mark on the left shoulder?

The vaccine is administered strictly intradermally using a special tuberculin syringe. After 4-6 weeks during the initial administration and already in the first week during revaccination, a small spot appears at the injection site, and then a thickening appears.

Provided the process is normal, the size of the formation does not exceed 5-10 mm . Afterwards, a transparent purulent blister appears at this place, the contents of which gradually become cloudy.

The last stage is the formation of a crust at the injection site. After 5-6 months, most children develop a small (3 to 10 mm) scar in this place, which takes on its final appearance by the age of one year.

The appearance of a trace indicates that the vaccination was successful and the body has developed immunity to the pathogen.

It is impossible to smear the inflamed injection site with iodine, apply various compositions to it intended to eliminate pus and heal wounds, rub the injection site with a washcloth or rip off the resulting crust.

In this way, the natural process of local infection can be disrupted, which will not allow the body to form the correct immune response.

Why does a scar remain on the arm after BCG?

Because after the drug is administered under the skin, the live weakened bacteria present in the vaccine begin destructive activity.
Its result is an active inflammatory process of a local nature, as evidenced by the appearance of purulent masses. Since during the course of the reaction the structure of the skin at the site of vaccine administration changes, after the abscess heals, a scar of the appropriate type remains at the injection site, which resolves over time and takes on a more “delicate” appearance.

It is impossible to undergo vaccination with BCG and BCG-M without a residual scar. The scar that the vaccine leaves is the result of the successful development of the correct reaction of the immune system to the pathogenic protein introduced into the body.

What causes the appearance of scars or their absence?

A person receives several vaccinations throughout his life. Why do visible marks on the skin remain only after the administration of BCG and smallpox vaccines?

Injections of the vaccine preparations under consideration are performed intradermally: the first injection against smallpox and all anti-tuberculosis ones. During vaccination, bacteria enter the skin. In response to their presence, an inflammatory process (sometimes even necrotic) is formed around the injection site; the body forms a protective capsule against microbes (pustule). Therefore, sometimes the left shoulder hurts after vaccination, the injection site becomes hard, and there is a slight increase in temperature. This is a natural process that cannot be interfered with - there is a risk of interfering with the formation of antibodies to the disease.

The healing process may take several weeks or even months. After the administration of the BCG vaccine, a compaction forms at the injection site, noticeably rising above the skin. This seal is filled with liquid. Periodically, the blister bursts, suppuration occurs, then the wound heals again. This may happen repeatedly. The doctor who performed the vaccination makes recommendations to ensure that the healing process is as painless as possible.

In any case, a scar on the shoulder is an indicator for the doctor that the vaccination was done correctly and gave a normal reaction. Therefore, you should not worry about marks that are a few millimeters in size. Its absence, on the contrary, may mean that the vaccine was administered incorrectly. Or a protective reaction does not occur due to the fact that the child already has immunity against the disease - congenital or acquired as a result of contact with a sick person.

The absence of a characteristic scar on the hand may indicate the following.

  1. The patient's skin has excellent innate regenerative properties.
  2. The vaccination was not done for objective reasons, for example, due to contraindications - contact with a patient with tuberculosis prior to the procedure, immunodeficiency conditions, and the like.
  3. Parents and other official representatives issued a refusal to vaccinate for subjective reasons.

How to get rid of a scar on the forearm that was left from childhood from smallpox vaccination?

This question interests many people. Moreover, representatives of the fair sex ask it much more often than men. The relevance of this issue is well founded. After all, a low-aesthetic formation does not adorn any forearm.

Today, there are several ways to restore the beauty and uniformity of the skin structure at the site of vaccine injection.

However, before undergoing cosmetic procedures, the following points should be taken into account:

  1. The pustule should heal completely. Until this moment, touching the formation and carrying out even the slightest cosmetic measures in its area is prohibited;
  2. the scar does not pose a danger to life or health. Therefore, you can calmly live with it all your life without exposing your body to unnecessary cosmetic effects.

If the scar does not give you peace of mind aesthetically, the following measures can be taken to eliminate it:

  1. chemical peeling . Several procedures will be required to obtain results. In the process of treating the scar, salicylic, trichloroacetic, and glycolic acid will be used;
  2. mechanical grinding . In this case, the top layer of the skin will be polished using attachments with the smallest diamond coating. After a cycle of such procedures, the scar will be smoothed out, and the skin at the injection site will become even and smooth;
  3. laser resurfacing . The use of a laser activates the growth of new cells of the epithelial layer;
  4. phenol peeling . The procedure is painful, but very effective. Aggressive substances are used to correct the skin.

Which of the listed options to choose is a personal matter for everyone. However, before you go to a cosmetologist, make sure that your scar has completely healed and does not cause you the slightest discomfort.

In cases where the scar does not heal or causes discomfort for a year or more, resorting to cosmetic procedures is strictly prohibited. In such a situation, you should seek advice from a doctor.

How to prevent scarring

A small vaccination scar on the left shoulder is normal. Its size depends on the innate rate of cell regeneration and the skin's ability to regenerate. Nurses at the maternity hospital know how to inoculate the shoulder with minimal damage to the skin. However, after the vaccine is administered, the body may behave differently, so you should not think that the large size of the scar is the result of a medical error. A scar is formed as the body produces antibodies to microbes and subsequent cell regeneration. Its size depends little on the actions of medical personnel. If the presence and diameter of the vaccination mark were determined by the experience and competence of the medical staff, it would not be noticeable to everyone. By the way, the scar remains even in those people whose childhood post-vaccination wound healed quickly and was practically not inflamed.

It is useless to take special measures to prevent the appearance of a scar. You cannot lubricate the crust with ointments or treat it with any other compositions - this will not affect the size of the scar, but will only disrupt its formation and the process of antibody production. In adulthood, if desired, scars can be removed by peeling or by getting a tattoo on top of them.

You should not refuse vaccination just because it will leave an unsightly scar. Vaccination against tuberculosis is very important - almost every person has “dormant” pathogens of the disease in their body. At any moment they can “wake up”, or a person will receive an additional dose of microbes upon contact with another patient - and tuberculosis will begin. The vaccine helps develop immunity and prevent the sudden onset of the disease.

Vaccine care rules

There is no point in paying increased attention to the process occurring in the area where the injection is performed. If the vaccine turns red, this is normal in the first days (or even weeks) after vaccination. The body must independently produce antibodies to the introduced microbes in order to form immunity. Despite the pain in the first days, the vaccination does not limit the movement of the arm. It is necessary to ensure that the child does not scratch the injection site and does not violate the integrity of the wound. In addition, you should not:

  • lubricate the crust with ointment;
  • treat with antiseptics;
  • apply a bandage;
  • remove the crust.

In a word, there is no need to touch the vaccination site again. If possible, there should be access to air; do not wear too tight clothes. Wool fabrics may irritate the injection site.

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