Century old BCG vaccine a weapon against corona


Canberra|BCG vaccine, which has been widely used for about 100 years, for its off-target benefits, is being given to health-care workers in Melbourne to see if it will protect them against the coronavirus. BCG vaccine has not only being used as a common immunotherapy for early-stage bladder cancer, but it is also supposed to train the body’s first line of immune defence to better figth infections.

WHO is encouraging international groups to collaborate with a study led by Nigel Curtis, head of infectious diseases research at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne in order to understand if BCG vaccine can reduce disease in those infected with the COVID-19.

4,000 health-care workers of the hospital staff has volunteered to be part of a six-month trial, starting Monday.

Although the vaccine isused to immunise some 130 million newborns worldwide each year, it can be used to protect a broader group of people, but the priority is on health workers who are at higher risk from being infected with coronavirus while caring for sick patients.

Blood samples taken at the start and end of the trial will determine who was infected with the coronavirus, while participants will log any symptoms during the trial period.

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