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Can BCG Vaccine hold back COVID-19 deaths?

Results of a recent study from the US academics suggest that BCG could have protective effect on the covid-19

The untapped potential of this TB vaccine appears to have got the attention of epidemiologists and researchers across the world, as they race against time to find a solution for the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.A recent work by the UC academicians conducted a global analysis of BCG vaccine that has kindled the review in India. The study suggests that BCG could have a protective effect on Covid-19 patients’.

“A strong correlation between the BCG index, an estimation of the degree of universal BCG vaccination deployment in a country, and Covid-19 mortality in different socially similar European countries was observed, indicating that every 10 per cent increase in BCG index was associated with 10.4 per cent reduction in Covid-19 mortality,” the study said.

ICMR’s BCG study in India

The protective properties of BCG vaccine have prompted the ICMR to launch an Indian study to evaluate the effectiveness of the BCG vaccination among elderly individuals between 60 years and 95 years living in Covid-19 hotspots in the country. The aim of ICMR is to find out whether the BCG shots will prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and whether it can prevent the virus from progressing and becoming a major cause of morbidity among the elderly.

BCG is the first vaccine given after birth for an infant. Scientists from across the world through observational studies have written research papers linking countries like India and Pakistan, where BCG vaccine is mandatory from childhood, to lesser number of mortalities due to Covid-19.

Senior epidemiologists in India argue that universal administration of BCG vaccine in India might have already provided partial immunity to Indians from Covid-19, perhaps a major reason why mortality rate in the country was very low when compared to European countries, where BCG is not part of the national immunization programmes.

Source :- News feed



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