BCG vaccine could help elderly fight COVID: ICMR

A study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revealed that the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, which is administered to prevent tuberculosis, helped in tackling COVID-19 infection among elderly patients.

According to the ICMR study, BCG vaccine shots induce enhanced innate and adaptive immunity among elderly patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, which may help in fighting the novel coronavirus infection.

ICMR tweeted on October 28 that “in an ongoing study, scientists at the council have found that the vaccine induces increased memory cell responses and total antibody production in elderly.”

The medical body added, “BCG vaccination induces enhanced innate and adaptive immunity in elderly individuals which may prove beneficial against the COVID virus.”

Researchers in the United Kingdom are also studying the efficacy of BCG vaccine, which was developed decades ago, in fighting coronavirus infections.

The vaccine, which was developed to prevent tuberculosis, has also proven effective in preventing other infections such as meningitis. World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that the BCG vaccine can “bridge the gap before a disease-specific vaccine is developed.”

Some states in India such as Maharashtra have already started procuring BCG vaccines to prevent COVID-19 until a vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus is available. – Moneycontrol

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