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Tuberculosis/BCG vaccine

RFAHopeful

Midshipman
Hello everyone,

So one of the vaccines I don't have but need to get for the RFA is the BCG one. All of the other ones I'm missing can be done by either my GP or local travel clinics but absolutely nowhere even vaguely near me seems to do BCG vaccines. Usually I wouldn't mind going up to London for a day to get one but obviously, this is difficult (and probably illegal? not sure if this comes under the medical treatment reason for travel or not) at the moment. I also don't have a car and while I normally quite like the train journey into London I'm really not sure how much I could justify making it at the moment. Even CityDoc seems to have stopped doing them- I'm wondering if there might be a shortage of the actual vaccine or something. Has anyone else had a similar issue at all? If so, how did you resolve it?
 

Jamarse

Midshipman
Took me 6 hours each way by boat to get mine done, didn't even question the distance / time. If you need it, you will find a way. How important is that vaccine (or your position in the RFA) to you?
 

Random

Lantern Swinger
Hello everyone,

So one of the vaccines I don't have but need to get for the RFA is the BCG one. All of the other ones I'm missing can be done by either my GP or local travel clinics but absolutely nowhere even vaguely near me seems to do BCG vaccines. Usually I wouldn't mind going up to London for a day to get one but obviously, this is difficult (and probably illegal? not sure if this comes under the medical treatment reason for travel or not) at the moment. I also don't have a car and while I normally quite like the train journey into London I'm really not sure how much I could justify making it at the moment. Even CityDoc seems to have stopped doing them- I'm wondering if there might be a shortage of the actual vaccine or something. Has anyone else had a similar issue at all? If so, how did you resolve it?

I would suggest you do the following:
  • Talk to the RFA and see what they say, they may be happy for you to delay the vaccination.
  • If they want you to travel, ask for a letter showing that you are an essential worker.
  • If you can drive, consider renting a car?
At times like this ENG1s and vaccinations are a ball ache, but they can be done safely. For example I have recently had to fly 4.5 hours (there and the same back) just to get to see an ENG1 Dr for a renewal! all done masked, social distanced, accompanied by the constant smell of sanitizer.
 

Skylarker

Badgeman
I had the exact same issue, nowhere seemed to supply it and those that did, nowhere seemed to have it in stock due to a national shortage.

However, it is not illegal to go have it done, it does fall under the medical umbrella of exemptions. But I contacted the RFA directly with my concerns and they kindly recommended that I reach out to Nationwide Pathology for the test.

Not only do they supply a clinic a town over from me meaning I don't have to go to London which would involve buying a train ticket, the test itself is also cheaper than Citydoc

Give Nationwide Pathology a call and see if they can help.

This message was edited as I had put some incorrect information down, Nationwide Pathology can only help with a test not vaccine.
 
Last edited:

Skylarker

Badgeman
Took me 6 hours each way by boat to get mine done, didn't even question the distance / time. If you need it, you will find a way. How important is that vaccine (or your position in the RFA) to you?
Just to make clear, the Jab is important but as I have been told directly by the RFA that not having it by the time your course begins would not stop you from beginning your training at HMS Raleigh.

Secondly not all of us for whatever reason can make a six hour travel journey. That is above and beyond and good for you for committing to that, certainly puts my two hour train journey for blood tests to shame!

But this is not what is expected of applicant's as its an unreasonable amount of distance to go especially during these times. But if an applicant wishes to do it, sure, but for those that cannot for whatever reason I recommend directly contacting the RFA and explaining your reasons for not being able too go so far, you'll find them very understanding.
 

RFAHopeful

Midshipman
Took me 6 hours each way by boat to get mine done, didn't even question the distance / time. If you need it, you will find a way. How important is that vaccine (or your position in the RFA) to you?
Yeah I don't mind the distance, more concerned with the legality during lockdown and obviously the fact that unessential travel puts others at risk which is why I'd look into any other options first.


I would suggest you do the following:
  • Talk to the RFA and see what they say, they may be happy for you to delay the vaccination.
  • If they want you to travel, ask for a letter showing that you are an essential worker.
  • If you can drive, consider renting a car?
At times like this ENG1s and vaccinations are a ball ache, but they can be done safely. For example I have recently had to fly 4.5 hours (there and the same back) just to get to see an ENG1 Dr for a renewal! all done masked, social distanced, accompanied by the constant smell of sanitizer.

This is a great idea, thanks. I can't drive but a letter will be very helpful if I do indeed have to go up to London and get questioned about it.


I had the exact same issue, nowhere seemed to supply it and those that did, nowhere seemed to have it in stock due to a national shortage.

However, it is not illegal to go have it done, it does fall under the medical umbrella of exemptions. But I contacted the RFA directly with my concerns and they kindly recommended that I reach out to Nationwide Pathology, which is what i am now recommending you do.

Not only do they supply a clinic a town over from me meaning I don't have to go to London which would involve buying a train ticket, the jab itself is also cheaper.

Give Nationwide Pathology a call and see if they can help.

Good to know it's not illegal, I wasn't sure if it counted under the seeking medical care exemption since it's not something urgent, which is sort of what I envisioned when I read that. I will reach out to Nationwide Pathology, thanks so much for that idea! I can't actually see any mention of vaccinations on their website at a cursory glance, but I might just be missing it. Is it something they do but just don't list there or am I just doing a terrible job of navigating their web page?
 

Skylarker

Badgeman
I can't actually see any mention of vaccinations on their website at a cursory glance, but I might just be missing it. Is it something they do but just don't list there or am I just doing a terrible job of navigating their web page?

I emailed them and they where super quick to respond and get me in touch with one of their clinics close to me
 

Skylarker

Badgeman
RFAHopeful my apologies but I am incorrect, after checking my email Nationwide Pathology only supply the Quantiferon Test to detect if you've ever had TB or the Vaccine but do not supply the actual Vaccine.

I got confused between two different email chains I've got with them, and supplied some wrong information which I'm about to remove from the above posts!
 

RFAHopeful

Midshipman
RFAHopeful my apologies but I am incorrect, after checking my email Nationwide Pathology only supply the Quantiferon Test to detect if you've ever had TB or the Vaccine but do not supply the actual Vaccine.

I got confused between two different email chains I've got with them, and supplied some wrong information which I'm about to remove from the above posts!
Ah that's a shame, I'll see if the RFA have any advice then, and if not if they can give me a letter as proof if I do need to head up to London. I'm reasonably certain I haven't had the vaccine
 

EightSixteen

Badgeman
I had a positive reaction for the Mantoux Skin Test whilst at school so didn't receive the BCG. I walked into a travel clinic and advised i needed a BCG for a job regardless of any further Skin Test and they obliged.
 

RFAHopeful

Midshipman
I had a positive reaction for the Mantoux Skin Test whilst at school so didn't receive the BCG. I walked into a travel clinic and advised i needed a BCG for a job regardless of any further Skin Test and they obliged.
Was this recent? If so how did you find a clinic that actually does it?
 

EightSixteen

Badgeman
Not recent but there is a perpetual shortage of BCG vax and I know this from apprentices & cadets who've echoed the same more recently that I received it.

Google, BCG travel clinic. They are purely money making enterprises. They will fleece you on the cost but that's the price you pay to avoid the delay of trying to go through your doc and you're getting reimbursed anyway.

You'll also find they're more likely to have a good stock and solid supply chain to get you your multiple jabs, done between 2 appointments.
 

RFAHopeful

Midshipman
Not recent but there is a perpetual shortage of BCG vax and I know this from apprentices & cadets who've echoed the same more recently that I received it.

Google, BCG travel clinic. They are purely money making enterprises. They will fleece you on the cost but that's the price you pay to avoid the delay of trying to go through your doc and you're getting reimbursed anyway.

You'll also find they're more likely to have a good stock and solid supply chain to get you your multiple jabs, done between 2 appointments.
I have tried googling this, a lot of places that were doing them as recently as last year now seem to have stopped. I've also tried contacting a number of them just in case they don't list it on their website but still do it, to no avail. My closest option seems to be London, which was the issue in the first place. I've emailed, so hopefully the RFA can advise further and maybe give me a letter proving it's essential for if I do have to travel.
 
I would imagine if you can show you have a booking for a vaccination that's required for work purposes, plus bring your RFA paperwork that shows you need the vaccines, then you should be good to go. I don't think journeys can get much more essential than that!

By all means ask for extra proof if you think you need it though.
 

bobbybrown

Midshipman
Hey guys! Most clinics won’t give a vaccination they give a quantiferon test to see if you have ever had it. I just left p&o after 4 years and had to get heaps of vaccinations. Don’t stress and just book a quantiferon test with your local clinic. This will give you your blood test on the paper to I believe so that may be another thing off of your application.
Good luck all!
 
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