Century-Old Vaccine Could Help Fight COVID-19

Immunization trials begin in Australia.

A vaccine that has been widely used for about 100 years to prevent tuberculosis is being given to healthcare workers in Melbourne, Australia, to see if it will protect them against the coronavirus.

The vaccine, known as BCG, is being seen by doctors as having potential off-target benefits. Not only is it common immunotherapy for early-stage bladder cancer, but it also seems to train the body’s first line of immune defense to better fight infections. It is that last potential that gives doctors in Australia hope for potential effectiveness against COVID-19.

“It can boost the immune systems so that it defends better against a whole range of different infections, a whole range of different viruses and bacteria in a lot more generalized way,” said Nigel Curtis, head of infectious disease research at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne. More than 4,000 healthcare workers volunteered to be part of the six-month trial in Australia. They began Monday to be randomly selected for the vaccine against seasonal influenza and TB, or the flu shot only. A  placebo vaccine won’t work as a control in this case because the BCG shot typically causes a localized skin reaction that leaves a scar, making it obvious which group received the TB vaccination.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the hope of effectiveness for using the BCG vaccine against the coronavirus.
  • For researchers and laboratories around the world seeking the best solutions with therapeutic drugs and vaccines against future outbreaks.

Sources: Bloomberg News, Science Alert


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