A TB vaccine is being tested for coronavirus prevention

A TB vaccine will be used for clinical trials of coronavirus. Researchers from four countries are exploring how this vaccine can be used to stop the pandemic which is spreading and interrupting day to day life around the globe.

Researchers are exploring the usage of the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine as a deterrent for the coronavirus. The researchers from four countries will proceed to clinical trials where they will use 1000 medical professionals for the trials. The vaccine will be administered to this group because they are in the frontlines fighting the spread of the disease and are expected to come into contact with the virus.

TB vaccine administered to health workers

Researchers in the Netherlands will kick off the trials by enrolling about 1000 health care workers for the vaccine. The workers will be divided and given two different dosages of the vaccine. One will be a placebo and the other will be the BCG.

This will help the researchers to determine if the vaccine is working and calculate how effective the vaccine is. The idea is that the virus will help raise the immune system of the health care workers and therefore prevent infection of coronavirus.

Effectiveness of the vaccine

The TB vaccine on trial is used for bacterial disease and coronavirus is a viral disease. However, previous researches have shown that the vaccine has been effective in fighting off other pathogens including some viral infections. The world, being in a desperate situation for a vaccine to help fight the spread of the coronavirus is in need of out of the box solutions which these researchers believe can be found in this TB vaccine.

BCG is administered to children in their first year of life to help prevent them from getting tuberculosis. Research has also shown that it is at least 60 percent effective in preventing infection of tuberculosis. However, it is cheap and is hailed for saving countless lives of newborns who would have otherwise have succumbed to tuberculosis.

Other countries carrying out the same research are Germany through a team at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Australia’s research group at the University of Melbourne and in the UK the research is being carried out by researchers from the University of Exeter.

 

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