BCG trial at ICMR’s Chennai institute to start soon

By: |
July 16, 2020 1:15 AM

As per the pilot, BCG vaccine would be administered on a trial basis to senior citizens aged between 60 and 65 to assess how the vaccine helps in reducing the Covid-19 mortality rate among the aged people.

According to a state government release, BCG vaccine helps to improve innate immunity and there is a possibility that the vaccine could reduce the morbidity and mortality rates due to Covid-19 in the elderly.According to a state government release, BCG vaccine helps to improve innate immunity and there is a possibility that the vaccine could reduce the morbidity and mortality rates due to Covid-19 in the elderly.

The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday said a trial by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)’s tuberculosis institute to study the efficacy of BCG vaccine in the elderly in the fight against Covid-19 will begin here soon.

The pilot programme to study the efficacy of the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine in reducing morbidity and mortality due to Covid -19 in the elderly will be done at National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) in Chennai.

As per the pilot, BCG vaccine would be administered on a trial basis to senior citizens aged between 60 and 65 to assess how the vaccine helps in reducing the Covid-19 mortality rate among the aged people.

Tamil Nadu health minister C Vijayabaskar said the chief minister has ordered to start pilot programme at the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT). NIRT will take up the trial, which has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), he added.

BCG is a vaccine against tuberculosis, is being administered to infants as part of the National Immunisation Schedule for 50 years in India.

According to a state government release, BCG vaccine helps to improve innate immunity and there is a possibility that the vaccine could reduce the morbidity and mortality rates due to Covid-19 in the elderly.

The state government after considering the fact that there were no appropriate drugs for the treatment of Covid-19, had sought a nod from the ICMR to study the efficacy of the BCG vaccine in the elderly. The ICMR has granted approval for the trial, and it would start soon at NIRT, an ICMR institute, said the minister.

The study would focus on the vaccine’s potential in reducing morbidity due to Covid-19, preventing hospitalisation, and reducing mortality due to the virus attack on the aged. It is known that the elderly, persons with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiac diseases are at higher risk for Covid-19.

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