Indian Journal of Medical Sciences
Scientific Scholar
Does the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccine provide protection from COVID-19?
Volume: 72, Issue: 1
DOI 10.25259/IJMS_37_2020

Objective:The novel coronavirus pandemic is ravaging throughout the world. It has infected more than 1.2 million people and killed more than 64,000. Frantic research is underway to find prevention and cure. Of late, Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) has been speculated as a possible protection from COVID-19. We sought to investigate the evidence behind the claim.Material and Methods:Data were collected regarding the total number of COVID-19 cases per million and total number of COVID-19 deaths per million in various countries. The BCG vaccination policies of these countries were also obtained.Results:It was seen that the countries with no universal BCG policy had a mean 1272.9 (median 795) cases per million and 80.7 deaths (median 18) per million population. On the contrary, the countries with a universal BCG vaccination policy had a mean 131.2 (median 40) cases per million and 4 deaths (median 1) per population. The difference is highly significant (P < 0.001).Conclusion:The data strongly support the hypothesis that BCG may offer protection from COVID-19. Heterologous protection offered by BCG through production of trained immunity, epigenetic reprogramming of monocytes, non-specific activation of NK cells, and increase of pro-inflammatory cytokines (particularly, tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-alpha and interleukin 1 beta) production may be the mechanism behind its cross- protection against the novel coronavirus.

Keywords the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccine provide protection from COVID-19?&author=Soumya Roy,&keyword=Novel coronavirus,Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2,COVID-19,Bacillus Calmette– Guérin,Tuberculosis,&subject=Original Article,