In the latest Vaccine Smarts column by UTMB’s Dr. Richard Rupp and Bridget Hawkins: BCG stands for Bacillus Calmette-Guérin. The BCG vaccine is used to protect people from human tuberculosis. Interestingly, the BCG vaccine strain was developed from the bacteria that cause tuberculosis in cows. People can catch cow TB by being in close contact with cows or by drinking infected milk.