There are a few mandatory vaccines that all of us had to take as kids, whether we liked it or not.
In case you’re not too sure what the BCG injection is, it’s a vaccine that all of us should have taken when we were babies and it is used against tuberculosis (TB).
In Singapore, it is usually given to babies soon after birth.
Well, recently, a theory has come about that it can actually help to fight Covid-19.
Australian Researches Trial TB Vaccine To Fight Coronavirus
A vaccine would still be the most effective way to curb the spread of the virus.
Recently, a group of Australian researchers announced that fast-tracking large-scale human testing to see if a vaccine used for decades to prevent tuberculosis can protect health workers from Covid-19.
The Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, which provides immunity or protection against TB, has proven to be effective in fighting against viruses similar to Covid-19.
The researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne are planning to conduct the trial of the BCG vaccine with 4,000 health workers in hospitals around Australia.
“Although originally developed against tuberculosis, and still given to over 130 million babies annually for that purpose, BCG also boosts humans’ ‘frontline’ immunity, training it to respond to germs with greater intensity,” the research institute said in a statement.
Hope To Reduce Infections Of Covid-19 Among Healthcare Workers
The 4,000 test subjects are to be enrolled in the trial within weeks under a fast-tracked process with the approval of state and federal health authorities.
“We hope to see a reduction in the prevalence and severity of COVID-19 symptoms in healthcare workers receiving the BCG vaccination,” said lead researcher Nigel Curtis.
Similar trials are also being conducted in other countries, like the Netherlands, The United Kingdom and Germany.
“Australian medical researchers have a reputation for conducting rigorous, innovative trials,” Kathryn Noah, director of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, said.
“This trial will allow the vaccine’s effectiveness against COVID-19 symptoms to be properly tested, and may help save the lives of our heroic frontline healthcare workers.”
But Why This Vaccine?
Well, previous studies and research has already shown that individuals who receive the vaccine develop fewer viral respiratory tract infections than those who haven’t.
Researchers are hoping that by improving people’s “innate” immunity, it will buy them more time to develop and validate a vaccine specific to the new coronavirus.
Health workers are at the front line of the Covid-19 outbreak, and constantly testing and treating infected patients puts them at risk of contracting the illness themselves.
A number of health workers in Australia have already been infected with the coronavirus, and the country is also facing a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), just like many other countries worldwide.
Hence, the trials will need to be conducted ASAP to ensure that they are protected against the virus.
Australia currently has 3,166 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 13 deaths. 170 of these cases have recovered and been discharged from the hospital, while the remaining 2,983 are active cases.
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