Coronavirus Vaccine – Does BCG Vaccine Help Bolster Immunity?

A 100-year-old vaccine that was developed to fight the tuberculosis havoc in Europe is now in testing against the novel coronavirus as scientists are hurrying to find a safe way to protect healthcare workers together with others.

The popular BCG vaccine i.e. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine is still being used in the developing nations, where scientists have found that the vaccine is more than just a TB vaccine. The BCG vaccine also prevents infant deaths which provide quick relief for respiratory infections.

The vaccine prepares the immune system to identify and respond to many infections such as bacteria, virus, and parasites. There is a connection of this vaccine with blunt infections like coronavirus but a chain of clinical trials is necessary to prove this question, experts say.

Scientists from Melbourne, Australia started experimenting with this BCG vaccine on many physicians, respiratory therapists, nurses, and healthcare workers. The first trials were intended to test for the effectiveness of this vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

“Nobody is saying this is a panacea,” said Dr. Nigel Curtis, head of infectious diseases at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, who planned the trial. “What we want to do is reduce the time an infected health care worker is unwell, so they recover and can come back to work faster.”

A clinical trial with 1,000 healthcare professionals stared 10 days ago in the Netherlands, as per Dr. Mihai G. Netea, Radboud University Medical Center specialist at Nijmegen. 800 healthcare workers have already shown their interest in the test.

The director of immunobiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Denise Faustman said that they are seeking funds, to begin with, clinical trials of the vaccine in healthcare workers in Boston too. Primary results are set to available in around 4 months.

The BCG vaccine with its unusual history had proved that it did not let tuberculosis develop.

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