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Children / is the BCG vaccination required before they start school..... almost impossible to get in UK


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Not sure if this should be here or in the children / schooling section. We move at the end of January with out 10 year old son - and I thought it would be relatively simple to get him his BSG vaccination  before we leave the UK - as I understand he'll need this for school in France - but it is no longer available on the NHS unless you live in inner London.

None of our local travel clinics offer it - and those that do want to charge in excess of £100-00 for it.

My question is will he be stopped from enrolling at school without this -he has had every other vacinnation - which would allow us to wait until we move and have it done in France????

Many thanks for your advice


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Non of my kids have had it.  We moved here in July 2005, the kids were then 12, 10 and 6.  We weren't asked for any vaccinaction details.  When we finally enroled with the local doctor, he asked me about the childrens immunisations.  I gave him the details and asked if they could have the BCG, the one would have been due in the UK I think, but he told me it isn't necessary in France anymore and the view on this jab had changed.

Hope this helps, we live in the Deux Sevres.

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Quelles sont les vaccinations obligatoires ?

Pour l'entrée à l'école élémentaire, les vaccinations obligatoires (sauf contre-indication médicale) sont :
- le BCG (vaccination contre la tuberculose). Si le test tuberculinique est négatif, la vaccination doit être refaite ;
- le DT-POLIO contre la diphtérie, le tétanos et la poliomyélite.
Les vaccinations contre la variole, la rubéole et la coqueluche ne sont pas obligatoires.



This is from the Education Nationale August 2006. These are the obligatory vaccinations in France.I didn't think it meant that each dept or toubib can make it up as they go along.

Don't worry Dotty, lots of posters have been told exactly the same by their doctors and each time I have looked it up and each time the Education Nationale have had a up to date web page with exactly the same details on them.

I do know that my sons college and lycee checked up on all the jabs and they both had BCG checks in college too.

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My daughter had attended school for almost a year before she saw the obligatory school doctor at which time it was brought to our attention that she was required to have a BCG jab. We made an appointment with our local doctor who gave us a prescription for the injection, it cost very little (can't remember exactly but less than 10 euros i believe) back to the doctors who administered the injection - trouble free apart from a few tears from my 6 yr old. I was led to believe that the vaccination is obligatory for school children but perhaps this depends on the department?


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Thanks forthe info TU.  Its strange how the college my older two go to have never asked to see jab certificates or asked if they have had BCG jabs.

Its tricky to know whether to go ahead and get it done anyway.  I had a bad reaction to mine as a teenager.

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Dotty, the collège probably simply assumes that they've had it done. In all the collèges I've worked in, I've only known one principal to check vaccinations.When my kids started maternelle, the school checked what jabs they had had. When they then went on to primary and collège, nobody bothered checking. The assumption is that since they couldn't have been at maternelle without it. French people (like most people) assume that what happens in their country is the "norm" so they would assume that a secondary age British pupil would have had the same jabs at the same time as a french pupil.

On the other hand, there is an obligatory medical visit in 3eme (or shoul be anyway) and the school doctor will check vaccinations

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Dotty - same thing happened to us.  I was asked for the vaccination list by the primary school.  Gave it to them.  It was from the U.S.A., so they didn't seem to understand it.  I explained to them what each vaccine was.  When I asked our local doctor, he too said that the BCG vaccine was no longer necessary.  My daughter has never had it (the BCG vaccine).  School(s) have never asked for anything further - so far, and we're in our sixth year here.

I saw what TU wrote.  Seems there are lots of areas where the rules are not always followed.  I was prepared to have daughter vaccinated, but was told it was not necessary...  Go figure...


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Certainly not an outcast Dotty, it's the same here in Deux Sevres.  School said it was compulsory, Doctor said their information is out of date and it's being abandoned.  He did say however, if we felt we needed it, he could write a prescription, but it's unlikely that the chemist will have the 'billy stamper' tester pack, so it may be difficult to get hold of.

We've changed schools since, and were asked again.  We explained the situation, and they were happy enough.

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It is certainly still compulsory here in our neck of the woods.  We've just enrolled

our daughter in the local "Garderie" and it was a requirement before she

was allowed in.  The doctor was very against giving it as she said

there were better alternatives, but said she had no choice as it was a

requirement in France that the BCJ is given.  Maybe she was out of date with her info, but the nursery did say the same thing. 

None-the-less, we had to have it done and it was a very simple process -

first appt with the doctor for the prescription and a certificate of

good health (also a requirement for our place) then a trip to the Chemist -

they had to order it, but it came next day and was only about 12 euros. We then just

went back to the doctor to get it done.  Our doctor was excellent I have to say, and

very gently with our 2yr old when doing it.  Fortunately she hasn't had

any reaction to it and started going to the Garderie today - she didn't

want to come home!


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This fight between certain doctors and the education national has been going on for years. For at least 5 years (probably longer) I have been hearing people tell me that their doctor has told them that the BCG is no longer obligatory or that it is obligatory but that the law is about to change.....

From what I have understood, some doctors feel that the present BCG vaccine isn't very effective against the strains of TB around at the moment and is a bit pointless, so the governement has been asked to consider making it non obligatory.

At first I really  believed the law was going to change, but 5 (or more) years on it still hasn't. The quote TU posted hasn't changed. Here's the link to the site http://www.education.gouv.fr/cid37/inscription.html Seriously, I should never have expected the law to change so fast. You still have to be tested for syphillis before you get married and that law came in just after the first world war.

I think that there are quite a few doctors making decisions based on their own opinions or hopes. This would be OK, if they said "I don't believe it is necessary" instead of stating officially that it is neither necessary nor obligatory.

If you come across an anti-vaccination directeur/rice then they may even tell you the same thing. It will only be picked up by the school doctor (that is if they check)


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Hi Liz,

We were in the same position before we moved here in July last year. My wife had been to the school in April annd we were told that our children required the injection prior to starting school. As it happen's were were requested to provide a photocopy of their red books during their first week of term.

We were going to go to a private clinic to have it done as we were told by the NHS that despite the increase in TB in London being from zero to around 3000 cases per year, it was only babies and new arrivals to the country that were being vaccinated. I tried our local health clinic again to ask if we could pay locally (Southend) to save travelling to London twice (as our eldest would have to be tested one day, then vaccinated the second if she had no immunity). I explained again that it was a requirement that our daughters had the vaccine before they commenced school. The nurse I spoke to this time thought it a great idea and put us in touch with the school's clinic. One week later, both children vaccinated on the NHS.

Hope this helps

Paul Bradford

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