• September 29, 2020

BGC vaccine more than a TB vaccine- scientists

Can you imagine that vaccine you receive when you  were just born could be protect you from the coronavirus? Yes it could. Scientists have found that countries where Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine (BCG) is administer to new born babies have less incidences of Coronavirus.

According to Professor Andreas Diacon Chief Executive Officer TASK Clinical research centre, while speaking on a local TV in South Africa said the vaccine has been proven to be effective in protecting people for many diseases.

“There is an experience that there less deaths of babies in countries that have BCG in their programs but also seen that people in these countries have less chances of getting lung cancer after 40 years,” he said.

He also adds that the century-old Tuberculosis vaccine could be the key to combatting COVID-19. Diacon says health workers are the best candidates.The clinical trial started on May 04, with two health workers in Cape Town.

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According to the world Health Organisation there were on going clinical trials that were conducted, the authors compared the incidence of COVID-19 cases in countries where the BCG vaccine is used with countries where it is not used and observed that countries that routinely used the vaccine in neonates had less reported cases of COVID-19 to date.

Some countries like South Africa and Netherlands have started vaccinating BCG to health care workers directly involved in the care of patients with COVID-19 to see the effect of the vaccine.

However, WHO does not recommend BCG vaccination for the prevention of COVID-19, but continues to recommend neonatal BCG vaccination in countries or settings with a high incidence of tuberculosis because such ecological studies are prone to significant bias from many confounders, including differences in national demographics and disease burden, testing rates for COVID-19 virus infections, and the stage of the pandemic in each country.

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There is no evidence that the Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine (BCG) protects people against infection with COVID-19 virus. Two clinical trials addressing this question are underway, and WHO will evaluate the evidence when it is available.

On 11 April 2020, WHO updated its ongoing evidence review of the major scientific databases and clinical trial repositories, using English, French and Chinese search terms for COVID-19, coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 and BCG.

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Evaline Namuwaya

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