A study shows that there is a possibility that the BCG vaccine – against tuberculosis – may be effective against covid-19. It would work by reducing the mortality rate from the disease, caused by the new coronavirus. However, the results are not yet conclusive. The work came out on Pnas, official publication of the United States National Academy of Sciences, on Thursday (July 9, 2020). Read the full text (1 MB).
The research raises a hypothesis and it is too early to state that there is a relationship between the 2 despite “Consistent association”, according to scientists. To reach this conclusion, researchers from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases of the USA and the State University of Virginia studied data from countries where vaccination is mandatory, such as Brazil, and others, such as the United States, where there is less coverage. vaccination.
Preliminary results show that there were more deaths in places where there is less vaccination, such as the states of New York and Louisiana, than in São Paulo, Pernambuco and Mexico City, for example. The study suggests that the vaccine would not immunize against covid-19, but would help prevent the most severe form of the disease.
In addition to immunizing against tuberculosis, the Calmette-Guérin bacillus vaccine can protect against other infectious diseases. The indication is to take a single dose in the first 12 hours of life. But children under 5 and anyone who has had leprosy patients at home can also take it. The vaccine is not suitable for adults and has been mandatory and free since 1976 in Brazil.
Previous studies have also indicated a relationship between the vaccine and covid-19, but this is the most extensive to date. Holland and Australia have also studied and tested with BCG. However, it is worth remembering the immunity generated by the BCG vaccine is practically null after 10 years. In May, the WHO (World Health Organization) stated that it did not recommend vaccination as a form of immunization against the new coronavirus.