Coronavirus News Asia

Severity of disease impact linked to BCG policies


According to a US study made widely available by MedRXiv, a combination of reduced morbidity and mortality could make the tuberculosis (TB) vaccine — Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination — a game-changer in the fight against Covid-19.

The findings were published by NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) researchers, led by Gonzalo Otazu, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical sciences, according to a report by Kim Tucker Campo at the New York Institute of Technology.  

The United States currently leads the world in confirmed Covid-19 cases, followed by Italy, per the latest report from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE), the report said.

Now NYITCOM researchers propose that the severity of Covid-19 impact may be linked to varying national policies on BCG childhood vaccination, the report said.

“We found that countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination, such as Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States have been more severely affected compared to countries with universal and long-standing BCG policies,” the researchers state.

As one of the most widely used vaccines in the world, the BCG vaccine has existed for nearly a century and has been shown to be an effective tool in preventing meningitis and disseminated TB in children, the report said.

The inoculation is also believed to offer broad-ranging protection against respiratory infections, which present similar symptoms to Covid-19.

In fact, Australian researchers have just announced plans to fast track large-scale testing to see if the BCG vaccination can protect health workers from the coronavirus, the report said.



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