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BCG vaccine vaccinator. Photo courtesy of Japan BCG Laboratory

Australia tests TB vaccine against Covid-19

Australia is testing an old vaccine to treat Covid-19 cases. The vaccine  - which has been around for more than a century - could possibly boost the body's ability to fight off the infection.

Published: April 17, 2020, 9:20 am

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    Some 4 000 hospital staff were injected with the vaccine in Australia. But these trial results will however only be available in a few months CBSNews reported.

    “If we find that the BCG vaccine and its ability to boost the immune system does decrease the severity of Covid-19 […] we would have something kind of off the shelf that we can use, hopefully, during this pandemic or if there was a second wave,” said professor Nigel Curtis of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia. Professor Curtis is in charge of the vaccine trial.

    Countries with mandatory policies to vaccinate against tuberculosis have reported fewer Coronavirus deaths, a new study has found.

    The preliminary study posted on medRxiv, discovered a correlation between countries that require the bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine.

    But in a scientific brief released by the WHO, the body expressed concern that “diversion of local supplies may result in neonates not being vaccinated, resulting in an increase of disease and deaths from tuberculosis”. At least three other countries are also currently testing the old vaccine for tuberculosis.

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