Will BCG Be The “Game Changer” In Fight Against Covid -19?

WHO has clarified that there is no evidence that Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine (BCG) protects people against infection with COVID-19 virus. It has further said that two clinical trials addressing this question are underway, and WHO will evaluate the evidence when it is available. In the absence of evidence, WHO does not recommend BCG vaccination for the prevention of COVID-19.

In the absence of concrete evidence, WHO does not recommend BCG vaccination for the prevention of Covid-19. At the same time WHO continues to recommend Neonatal BCG vaccination in countries of settings of high incidences of tuberculosis.

This communication from WHO came after its scientific database found authors online, comparing their numbers of Covid-19 cases in countries where BCG vaccine is used in neonates with countries where it is not used and observed that the countries that routinely used the vaccine in neonates had less reported cases of Covid-19 till date.

The review also yielded two registered protocols for clinical trials, both of which aim to study the effects of BCG vaccination given to healthcare worker directly involved in the care of patients with Covid -19.

Already nearly 1,500 Dutch healthcare workers have rolled up for one study, and in Australia, researchers hope to enrol 4,000 hospital worker to test BCG, and 700 have already received BCG or the placebo shot. Similar researches are also being planned in United States as well.

The argument given by scientists in favour of possibility of the BCG vaccine proving to be a possible protection against Covid-19 is that the vaccines made using live strains of bacteria or viruses seen to boost the immune system’s first line of defense, a more general way to guard against germs which at times have led to some cross protection against some completely different germ in past.

Though in this case there is no evidence yet that it may act against the novel – Corona Virus. But seeing the lesser number of population affected in the developing countries like India as compared to Italy, Netherlands and US which don’t have it as a universal policy, scientists are curious to study it. Indian scientists are hopeful as in past too BCG proves to be effective against SARS, which too is caused by Corona Virus.

Though the vaccines are designed to target a specific disease, but in this case, researchers hopeful if they could provide a temporary protection against Covid-19 until a Specific and concrete line of protection and treatment is developed.

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