Can BCG vaccine protect the elderly against COVID-19? Here’s what study says

By: |
September 2, 2020 4:06 PM

While several researches are being conducted in order to find ways to curb the Coronavirus transmission, a new study shows that the BCG vaccine, originally developed for TB, can be beneficial for elderly people in the fight against COVID-19 infection

The vaccine has efficacy against various infections as it stimulates the immune system.

While several researches are being conducted in order to find ways to curb the Coronavirus transmission, a new study shows that the BCG vaccine, originally developed for TB, can be beneficial for elderly people in the fight against COVID-19 infection. The vaccine has efficacy against various infections as it stimulates the immune system, according to a study published in the journal Cell. The study was initiated before the Coronavirus pandemic and around 198 elderly people were given doses of BCG vaccine or placebo as they were discharged from Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

As the novel Coronavirus is wreaking havoc across countries, the researchers went back and checked the preliminary results of study and noted that there is a wide range of infections that are covered in the study. According to the study, 42.3 per cent of the elderly in the placebo group developed an infection while against 25 per cent of those in the BCG group. Moreover, candidates in the BCG group developed the infection after 16 weeks of vaccination which was just 11 weeks in the case of placebo.

While the study highlighted protection against respiratory infections is provided by the BCG vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) in April said that it does not recommend the usage of BCG vaccination for battling COVID-19. That time, WHO stated that the vaccination is capable of preventing severe forms of TB in children and their diversion for another use will have implications. The organisation believes that it will result in neonates not being vaccinated which will give impetus to many tuberculosis related diseases and deaths.

Meanwhile, Russia has claimed that it has developed a vaccine for Coronavirus. Several other vaccines in Europe and India are in advanced phases of human clinical trials, expected to be rolled out soon.

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