World News – GB – What is the BCG vaccine and could it protect against the coronavirus?


As the Oxford UK trial continues to lead the charge in hopes of finding a vaccine against the coronavirus – with the hope that adults will be vaccinated before Easter next year after the launch of some vaccinations as early as next month – scientists have started testing other options

Scientists at the University of Exeter have started testing the BCG vaccine after finding there is evidence that it may also protect against other infections

BCG – which stands for Bacillus Calmette – Guérin – is a vaccine developed in 1921 that protects against tuberculosis, also known as TB

The NHS says tuberculosis is a serious infection that affects the lungs and sometimes other parts of the body, such as bones, joints and kidneys

About 1,000 people will participate in the trial at the University of Exeter as part of the larger BRACE trial, which aims to recruit 10,000 health workers to work in a health facility or have contacts in face to face with patients in the UK, Australia, Netherlands, Spain and Brazil

The results of this trial will help determine whether, in current and future new viral outbreaks, BCG vaccination could be used as an early intervention to protect healthcare workers and other high-risk groups

The BBC reports that previous clinical trials have shown that the BCG vaccine reduced newborn mortality in Guinea-Bissau by 38%, mainly by reducing cases of pneumonia and sepsis

Other studies in South Africa have linked the BCG vaccine to a 73% reduction in infections of the nose, throat and lungs and experiments in the Netherlands have shown that BCG reduced the amount of yellow fever virus in the body

« This could be of major importance globally, » Professor John Campbell of the University of Exeter School of Medicine told the BBC

« While we don’t think [the protection] will be specific to Covid, it has the potential to buy several years for Covid vaccines to pass and perhaps other treatments to be developed. »

BCG was once given to teenagers, but since 2005 it is no longer offered to secondary school children in the UK

The BCG vaccine was replaced in 2005 by a targeted program for babies, children and young adults at high risk of tuberculosis

It was offered to 14-year-olds because tuberculosis was most common in young adults at that time

MORE: How close is the UK to a Covid vaccine – do some countries have one?

BCG vaccine, Vaccine, Tuberculosis, Coronavirus, Vaccination

News from the world – GB – What is the BCG vaccine and could it protect against the coronavirus?


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