Currently there is no known treatment for the coronavirus that emerged in China late last year which has since spread across the planet. The present time-frame for the creation and approval of a vaccine is 12 to 18 months. Researchers from China published the genetic sequence of the virus in Mid-January in the hopes of finding a vaccine/cure, researchers across the globe began working in earnest to find effective drugs. Research has split into three different avenues of approach – some are looking at the effects of existing drugs as a treatment, others are experimenting to recycle common drugs for use, while others are using cutting-edge technology to devise new types of vaccines. https://www.thejournal.ie/coronavirus-vaccine-2-5062925-Apr2020/
As the healthcare workers around the world continue their fight against Covid – 19 compelling evidence is emerging that the BCG Vaccine might helpprotect against Covid-19. Studies are beginning to show countries with vaccination programmes that include BCG have fewer cases. The evidence suggests that it may provide protection against Covid- 19 and significantly reduce death rates. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/coronavirus-more-striking-evidence-bcg-vaccine-might-protect-against-covid-19-1.4222110
In 1908 French scientists began developing the tuberculosis vaccine “Bacillus Calmette-Guerin” (BCG), the first human trials began in 1921. The BCG is named after the two bacteriologists involved: Albert Calmette and Camille Guerin. Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria attacking the lungs, while infection is a result of by being in close contact with an infected person when they sneeze or cough. TB was especially common after World War II and is highly infectious. It infects 10 million people every year with 1.5 million people dying from it, according to WHO, in spite of it being a preventable and curable disease. https://www.euronews.com/2020/04/06/has-the-key-to-a-coronoavirus-vaccine-been-staring-us-in-the-face-for-a-century
In a study comprised of 178 countries conducted by an Irish Medical Consultant and epidemiologists at the University of Texas in Houston evidence shows countries with vaccination programmes have lower coronavirus cases by a factor 10, compared to countries where BCG programmes are no longer active. This lower case numbers translates “into a death rate up-to 20 times less, according to urologist Paul Hegarty of the Mater Hospital, Dublin. “ https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/coronavirus-more-striking-evidence-bcg-vaccine-might-protect-against-covid-19-1.4222110
The study is expected to be published shortly by PLOS journal, and is largely a statistical one with cautions because of the possibility of confounding factors. Research suggests “Over the 15 days, incidence of Covid-19 was 38 per million in countries with BCG vaccination whereas the incidence of Covid-19 was 358 per million in the absence of such a programme. The death rate was 4.28 per million in countries with BCG programmes and 40 per million in countries without such a programme,” he added.” https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/coronavirus-more-striking-evidence-bcg-vaccine-might-protect-against-covid-19-1.4222110
So what do scientist know about the TB vaccine, what are they trying to figure and its place in the fight against Covid- 19
HOW CAN A TB VACCINE HELP WITH OTHER INFECTIONS?
The BCG vaccine generates an adaptive immune response, i.e. the body develops a defence against a specific microorganism/pathogen after exposure to it. Most vaccines create an adaptive immune response to a single pathogen. The BCG vaccine however may also boost the natural immune system which is the first-line defence against infection and disease.
WHAT SCIENTISTS DO NOT KNOW
They don’t have data yet on the effect of BCG vaccination has on the virus. Since the BCG vaccine has many varieties with different capabilities they also need to identify the type of BCG vaccine that would be most effective in boosting the natural immune system.