There has been speculation including a few studies that hint on the possibility of the tuberculosis vaccine might help to fight Covid-19.
There has been a long on-going rumor about the ability of the tuberculosis vaccine, also known as the BCG to fight Coronavirus.
The researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health have made the link of Coronavirus to BCG, after constantly comparing data on Covid-19 mortality rates across the world.
Based on the former data, the researchers estimated that a 10 percent increase in TB vaccine coverage can lead to a 10 percent reduction in deaths from Covid-19.
Tuberculosis and Covid-19 have very similar symptoms. The spread of both of these diseases is through droplet nuclei. The droplet nuclei can easily be spread by coughing, sneezing, and sharing things with the affected.
However, COVID-19 is said to spread by touching and might also be airborne (there is research going on for the ability of virus being airborne). Moreover, the difference between the two diseases lies in their pathogens.
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria while COVID-19 is caused by a virus. Therefore, scientists deny the possibility of the BCG vaccine treating Covid-19.
However, recent studies have shown the possibility of the BCG vaccine decreasing the mortality rate of Covid-19 patients.
BCG, named after French microbiologists Albert Calmette and Camille Guerin. These microbiologists developed the vaccine with a live strain of Mycobacterium Bovis, which is said to cause tuberculosis.
The vaccine was developed almost 100 years ago in 1921 is said to prevent the occurrence of tuberculosis and have reduced the mortality rate of the disease.
However, tuberculosis still remains one of the most popular reasons for death across the world. It is one of the most dangerous diseases as the bacteria have evolved to become resistant to the prescribed medication.
However, BCG does not reduce the risk of severe illness from a coronavirus infection, it goes along with other studies that suggest BCG can boost people’s immunity in general and hence reduce the mortality rate.
According to WHO, there is no firm evidence at this point that the Bacille Calmette-Gurin vaccine (BCG) protects people against infection with the COVID-19 virus.
Clinical trials addressing this question are underway, and WHO will evaluate the evidence when it is available. In the absence of evidence, the WHO does not recommend BCG vaccination for the prevention of COVID-19.
WHO continues to recommend reserving BCG for neonatal vaccination in settings with a high risk of tuberculosis.