According to a US-based research team and an Australian research team, we are keen to re-test to use the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin formally called the BCG vaccine against the Coronavirus. The researchers asked their respective governments for funding to retest the already developed 100-year old BCG vaccine. The BCG vaccine is generally given to the countries where the effect of Tuberculosis is high. One dose of BCG vaccine is given to the just-born babies. It creates an immune system that helps our body to fight against coronavirus.
As said earlier, the BCG vaccine fights against the tuberculosis bacteria that provoke bacteria and affect the lungs. The coronavirus also affects the lungs and create a breathing problem. So, scientists found that this 100-year-old BCG vaccine would help mankind to fight against coronavirus. The BCG vaccine also helps an immune system that fights against the antibodies that destroy the body. This vaccine may be new for some countries but, we Indians are very familiar with it.
The BCG vaccine is now given in injection form but, before few decades the vaccine was given with a round instrument which creates a round scar on the part where it is given. You can also find the BCG vaccine scar on your body. Generally, it was given on the shoulder and sometimes on hand. You can find the scar on your shoulder or anywhere on your hand. The researchers also found that the people who are already given this vaccine has less effect on coronavirus when compared with others.
The vaccine seems to train the immune system to recognize and fight against a variety of infections, viruses, bacteria, and parasites. But, there is very little evidence that the BCG can fight against the coronavirus. However, the researchers are confident that the BCG would work so, they are requesting the governments for funding to start the research.
According to the researcher’s point of view, every vaccine needs to be clinically tested, then it should be tested on animals and then on human beings. But, in BCG, as it is already working on human beings, no tests are needed to be performed on the animals. There is a need for conducting a few developmental tests and can be directly given to human beings if that works in clinical trials. The scientists really have very strong data and proceed to retest the BCG but, they just need some financial aid from the governments.
What is India’s point of view on this?
Doctors and scientists in India have expressed caution on this study, which argues that countries that have deployed the BCG-tuberculosis vaccine in their immunization programs have seen fewer deaths from COVID-19. They say, it is premature for India, which has had a consistent TB vaccination policy since 1968, to take comfort from the study.
-Krishna (Chief Editor, FrontlinesMedia)