Scientists of the New York Institute of Technology has recently conducted a research that BCG vaccine may be applied to use as a protective measure to fight against coronavirus. Naturally, a ray of hope has surged among the people during this pandemic. The scientists of US told that ’Bacillus Calmette-Guerin’ vaccine is usually given to children after birth to protect them from tuberculosis – now this vaccine can be applied to change the game of coronavirus.
‘Bacillus Calmette-Guerin’ (BCG) vaccine is mainly used for the countries where tuberculosis and leprosy occurs frequently. The scientists have observed lower death rate in people who have been vaccinated with BCG at a certain time in their lives. Presently, they are researching on whether the vaccine actually promotes the immune system and minimizes the respiratory symptoms among corona positive patients or not.
BCG is mainly a vaccine for tuberculosis which was introduced in the year 1920. India was the country that had highest number of tuberculosis patients in the world at that time. That was the reason why India’s mass immunization was ordered in the year 1948.
The team of scientists compared BCG vaccination policies of different countries and their respective death rate due to COVID-19. They observed a ‘positive correlation’ between these two things – the more earlier vaccination policy was adopted by a country, the more protection they could provide to their people, especially to the elderly people. Their observation in statistics is like this – death rate in nations covered with a ‘BCG vaccination programme’ was 4.28 per million, while the death rate in countries without ‘BCG vaccination programme’ was 40 per million.
Any type of vaccine usually contains weakened or killed forms of that particular microbe, or its toxins, or its surface proteins, injected into the body and the body then starts fighting with the microbe and prepare an anti-body to defense against the disease. Similarly, the BCG vaccine contains a weakened strain of tuberculosis bacteria, is injected into the body mechanism to produce antibodies against TB bacteria.
The scientists say that BCG vaccine is helpful to protect from various types of respiratory infections, which is almost similar to COVID-19. So, clinical trial should be focused on two sections of people – one is the health care workers and the other is elderly people that are more susceptible to infection. But, a section of doctors say that it is too early to come to a decision and to rely on the vaccine unless a large scale research is done.