BCG100 - A Programme of Public Engagement from the VALIDATE Network


The VALIDATE Network is a community of over 400 researchers based in more than 200 research institutions in 63 countries all working to accelerate the development of vaccines against four neglected diseases. Our “BCG100 Programme” will mark the centenary of the Bacille Calmette-Guérin, or 'BCG', vaccine. BCG is the first and, still a century later, only vaccine approved for humans that protects against tuberculosis (TB).

We're marking this centenary with a programme of events and activities to raise awareness about TB, which still kills almost as many people as COVID-19 every year, and to highlight the work researchers around the world are doing to try to develop a better vaccine against TB. The campaign will also look to provide resources to allow our amazing members to undertake their own public engagement.

The BCG100 project is supported by VALIDATE's funder, the Medical Research Council (MRC), and the University of Oxford Enriching Engagement scheme funded by the Wellcome Trust.

    BCG100 Activities

    Online talks - Watch now

    BCG Then and Now - A Public Lecture from the VALIDATE Network - 29 March 2021!

    In 'BCG Then and Now', Prof Paul Fine  (LSHTM) & Prof Helen McShane (University of Oxford) will take us on a journey from the initial development of the vaccine to the modern-day challenges in the fight against TB and the future challenges researchers face in replacing the enduring BCG vaccine.

    Find out more and watch online.


    bcg 100 lecture  tb and bcg for animals

    TB and the use of BCG in Animals: Does it matter to people? - 9 June 2021?

    In this BCG In Animals, Prof Michele Miller and Prof Glyn Hewinson discussed why effective vaccine programmes for animals are essential to the health and wellbeing of humans and the challenges that we still face in making such programmes a reality.

    Find out more and watch online.


    BCG100 for Schools - 11 May 2021

    A follow up/spin-off from our very successful VALIDATE for Schools event, Professor Michele Miller and Dr Wynand Johan Goosen from Stellenbosch University talked to students from around the world about their careers, their TB vaccine research, and their work with African wildlife.

    Find out more and watch online.


    BCG Adventures Computer Games

    ‘BCG Adventures’ is a series of simple, browser-based, retro 2D and 3D computer games that aim to raise interest and awareness of vaccine development. You can play the test versions of the games today:

    • Albert and Camille’s Little Lille Adventure is an exploration and adventure game in which you navigate characters around a map of occupied Lille in 1917. Players take the part of both Albert Calmette and Camille Guérin and interact with Lille's citizens to obtain the necessary supplies for their important vaccine research. As the player collects each item, they will learn about the methods used to create BCG, and how vaccines work.
    • Vaccine Delivery Adventure is a classic side-scrolling action game where a healthcare worker has to overcome the challenges of delivering vaccines worldwide. As you deliver the vaccine in different locations you learn more and more about the BCG vaccine and the challenges of protecting communities against tuberculosis.


    100 Years, 100 Facts about TB and BCG

    From World TB Day 24 March 2021 till the 100th anniversary of the First Use of BCG on 18 July 2021, VALIDATE will be tweeting 100 facts about TB and BCG. You can find the infographics on our 100 Facts page.


    About TB

    mycobacterium leprae

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by a bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb), and is found worldwide. Around one-third of the world’s population is latently infected with M.tb, which means they have been infected but do not yet have active TB disease. Latently infected people have a 10% chance of developing active TB during their lifetime, and becoming ill. In 2019, there were 10 million new cases of active TB worldwide and 1.4 million people died of of the illness (WHO, 2019). After COVID-19, TB the greatest global infectious disease cause of death, killing more people every year than HIV or malaria. Aside from causing death, TB impairs general health, resulting in reduced economic productivity and increased social and medical burdens on families. The World Health Organisation estimates 100 million disability-adjusted life years are lost due to TB in India alone. The average total cost to a patient with TB in a low/middle-income country is US$538-1268, which is equivalent to a year’s wages for many sufferers.

    About BCG

    Vaccine Vial and Syringe

    Bacille Calmette-Guérin was developed by immunologists Albert Calmette and Camille Guérin at the L'Institut Pasteur de Lille and was first used for humans on 18 July 1921. BCG uses a strain of attenuated (weakened) Mycobacterium bovis that causes TB cows and other animals. The attenuated M.bovis is weakened to the point where it does not cause harm to humans. By developing immunity to the weakened M.bovis strain the body’s immune system develops protection to the closely related Mycobacterium tuberculosis. When given at birth, BCG is good at protecting against severe disease in childhood, however the protection it confers against lung disease, particularly in adults, is highly variable. We urgently need a more effective vaccine. VALIDATE researchers are working on improving and replacing the BCG vaccine.


    Find out more about TB, and what VALIDATE is doing to improve and replace BCG, on our Tuberculosis page.