A vaccine made 100 years ago was used to treat coronavirus

A study awaiting review shows that the TB vaccine, born nearly 100 years ago, is effective in supporting the treatment of Covid-19.

In the course of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, scientists are looking for ways to prevent the virus from spreading. The use of a vaccine made 99 years ago is one of the examples.

Health workers in Melbourne from the end of March began testing the use of tuberculosis vaccine (BCG) to protect themselves from the risk of coronavirus exposure.

Dr. Philip Supply, Research Director at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), works with a test tube containing the weakened tuberculosis bacteria to prepare the BCG vaccine. Photo: AFP

A vaccine with a range of uses

The BCG tuberculosis vaccine (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) has been widely used for almost 100 years. About 130 million babies worldwide are vaccinated against tuberculosis with BCG every year.

In addition to preventing the tuberculosis bacteria, many studies show that the BCG vaccine strengthens the immune system, as well as reducing the risk of viral infections.

“This vaccine can boost the immune system to more effectively protect against various infections, viruses, and bacteria in general,” said Nigel Curtis, a specialist infectious disease researcher. Children, and the Head of Infectious Diseases, Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

According to a study published in medRxiv, a medical research site waiting for publication, there is a link between countries where TB vaccination is mandatory and the possibility of reducing deaths from Covid-19.

Gonzalo Otazu, a professor at the New York University of Technology and a co-author of the study, said he began to learn when he realized the surprisingly low number of Japanese infections, even though it was one of the countries. first confirmed to have Covid-19 infection.

Otazu said he has read many studies proving the effectiveness of the BCG vaccine against infectious diseases, not just tuberculosis. So Otazu’s team started looking for a link between BCG vaccine use and the number of people killed by Covid-19.

“We compared a number of countries with BCG mandatory vaccination policies and the implications for Covid-19 mortality. We recognize countries that do not require compulsory TB vaccination such as the United States, Italy, and Ha. Lan suffered more losses than the countries required to vaccinate for a long time.

We also found that BCG vaccination helped reduce the number of Covid-19 cases reported in countries. The reduction in both infection and mortality rates suggests that the BCG vaccine may be a tool against Covid-19, “concludes the study.

Currently, this study has not been released to the evaluation council, so it cannot be published. The evaluation council is the most important stage to test the reliability of scientific research.

“I think it is important to review the results of this study very carefully,” Eleanor Fish, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto, told Bloomberg.

Numerous national clinical trials

According to Bloomberg, there have been 6 countries testing the use of the BCG vaccine for anti-epidemic health workers and the elderly to test their ability to fight coronavirus.

The trial process in Australia will last for 6 months, with the participation of nearly 4,000 health workers. Starting March 30, they were randomly selected to get vaccinated against seasonal and tuberculosis vaccines, or just to get the flu vaccine.

A similar study is being conducted in the Netherlands. In an interview on March 28, Curtis said he was discussing the possibility of testing in other cities in Australia and the US city of Boston.

If the test gives positive results, this precaution can be applied to many groups of subjects. However, the top priority is still the health workers, who are at higher risk of coronavirus infection due to direct treatment of patients and frequent contact with carriers.

“We need to consider every possible solution to protect health workers,” Curtis said the study’s data monitoring committee will evaluate the results once every three months.

Source: Zing News, Bloomberg

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