A total of 105 low-birth-weight children presenting for first vaccination were randomized to receive bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) immediately or later (current practice). The mortality rate ratio for BCG was 0.17 (95% CI = 0.02-1.35) within 3 days of enrollment, 0.28 (0.06-1.37) in the first month, and 0.27 (0.07-0.98) after 2 months of age. The mortality rate ratio was 0.41 (0.14-1.18) (P = 0.098) in infancy. Administration of BCG vaccine at first contact may contribute to lower mortality.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00146302.