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Doctor’s Advice: Studies On BCG Vaccine’s Role In Preventing Coronavirus Not Yet Confirmed Through Trials

NDTV speaks to doctors for  their take on the unverified studies that indicate BCG vaccine normally used to fight tuberculosis and its effect on coronavirus

Doctor's Advice: Studies On BCG Vaccine's Role In Preventing Coronavirus Not Yet Confirmed Through Trials
Highlights
  • BCG vaccine is use to fight tuberculosis
  • Researchers hinted a link between BCG vaccine and prevention of COVID-19
  • Doctors explain that the studies are still not verified

New Delhi: BCG or Bacille Calmette-Guerin is a vaccine that was introduced in the 1920s to fight tuberculosis. India, with the world’s highest number of tuberculosis cases, introduced BCG mass immunisation programme in 1948. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the rising coronavirus cases, researchers and professors in some preliminary studies, which are yet to be verified, peer-reviewed and have hinted at a possible a link between the BCG vaccine’s capability in boosting immunity to stall the novel coronavirus. The preprints of the report released indicate that the mortality rate is much less in persons who have been vaccinated with BCG.  The study also noted that the incidence of COVID-19 in nations with a BCG vaccination was 38.4 per million, compared to those countries without BCG vaccination programme where the incidence of COVID-19 was 358.4 per million. The death rate in nations with a BCG vaccination programme, the initial study found to be 4.28 per million, while in countries without the programme, it was 40 per million.

NDTV spoke to doctors to know more about the BCG vaccine and if it has the potential to act as a  shield against COVID-19.

Dr Rishi Shukla, Endocrinologist, Regency Health Care said,

From the last couple of days, this question is doing the rounds everywhere. As Indians, we have taken this vaccine in our childhood. But does it mean that we are safe or we are immune to such infections has not been proved anywhere? This is all in the anticipation and till now the guidelines have not come that if those Indians who have not been given or got BCG vaccine in childhood should be given one now.

Also Read: The Decision To Lockdown India Was Taken Early And It Was Smart But Testing Needs To Scale Up: Expert On Country’s Fight Against Coronavirus

Dr Mahesh Chavan, Endocrinologist, Apollo Hospitals, Mumbai, on the other hand, said,

BCG vaccine has been known for immunity against a lot of viruses and that’s the reason it is given at the very early age to an individual. But at this stage, it is too early to say that the vaccine is good enough to fight thIS deadly virus. Even if as a precautionary measure India starts to immunise those who haven’t been vaccinated with BCG, it won’t make sense, as it takes 6 months to 1 year to show results. At this point of time, we should wait for clinical trials where BCG is studied for its response to tackle coronavirus.

Also Read: An Easy To Use Vaccine Delivery Kit Aims To Improve Immunisation In Rural India

On April 14, the World Health Organisation also denied the studies suggesting that the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine may be effective in the prevention of the highly contagious coronavirus infection. Currently, two clinical trials addressing this question are underway and the evidence will be evaluated later.

Also Read: India’s Commitment To Combat Coronavirus “Impressive”: World Health Organization

Till then the global body said it continues to recommend neonatal BCG vaccination in countries or settings with a high incidence of tuberculosis.

World

26,43,68,460Cases
22,50,84,762Active
3,40,45,666Recovered
52,38,032Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,43,68,460 and 52,38,032 have died; 22,50,84,762 are active cases and 3,40,45,666 have recovered as on December 3, 2021 at 1:36 pm.

India

3,46,15,757 9,216Cases
99,976 213Active
3,40,45,666 8,612Recovered
4,70,115 391Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,15,757 confirmed cases including 4,70,115 deaths. The number of active cases is 99,976 and 3,40,45,666 have recovered as on December 3, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,37,221 796

10,882 180

64,85,290 952

1,41,049 24

Kerala

51,51,919 4,700

45,030 252

50,66,034 4,128

40,855 320

Karnataka

29,96,833 363

6,772 169

29,51,845 191

38,216 3

Tamil Nadu

27,28,350 715

8,155 45

26,83,691 748

36,504 12

Andhra Pradesh

20,73,252 159

2,138 11

20,56,670 169

14,444 1

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,417 12

93 1

16,87,413 11

22,911

West Bengal

16,17,408 657

7,690 22

15,90,208 667

19,510 12

Delhi

14,41,190 217

307 21

14,15,785 196

25,098

Odisha

10,49,597 252

2,211 26

10,38,971 276

8,415 2

Chhattisgarh

10,06,870 37

328 12

9,92,949 25

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,827 21

213 10

9,45,659 11

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,570 50

318 25

8,17,158 24

10,094 1

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,199 12

128 4

7,82,543 8

10,528

Haryana

7,71,760 27

178 9

7,61,528 18

10,054

Bihar

7,26,230 5

32 0

7,16,534 4

9,664 1

Telangana

6,76,376 189

3,680 50

6,68,701 137

3,995 2

Assam

6,17,163 124

2,535 77

6,08,517 198

6,111 3

Punjab

6,03,352 32

344 13

5,86,402 18

16,606 1

Jharkhand

3,49,271 15

95 1

3,44,035 13

5,141 1

Uttarakhand

3,44,325 22

182 4

3,36,735 18

7,408

Jammu And Kashmir

3,37,263 177

1,697 10

3,31,089 167

4,477

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,354 85

835 29

2,22,669 113

3,850 1

Goa

1,79,046 56

367 40

1,75,295 16

3,384

Mizoram

1,35,765 315

3,717 55

1,31,545 368

503 2

Puducherry

1,28,998 33

299 10

1,26,826 23

1,873

Manipur

1,25,269 33

663 4

1,22,627 28

1,979 1

Tripura

84,835 15

94 6

83,916 8

825 1

Meghalaya

84,534 24

296 2

82,764 25

1,474 1

Chandigarh

65,475 4

65 1

64,590 5

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,285 6

36 1

54,969 5

280

Sikkim

32,267 15

137 10

31,727 5

403

Nagaland

32,128 3

128 5

31,302 6

698 2

Ladakh

21,642 41

306 21

21,122 20

214

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

0 1

10,679 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,397 1

18 8

10,328 9

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,686 3

7 2

7,550 1

129

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