Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) - a tuberculosis vaccine given to children in countries with high rates of tuberculosis infection - may play a significant role in mitigating mortality rates from COVID-19, MedicalXpress reported referring to a study published at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"In our initial research, we found that countries with high rates of BCG vaccinations had lower rates of mortality," said Escobar, a faculty member in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation. "But all countries are different: Guatemala has a younger population than, say, Italy, so we had to make adjustments to the data to accommodate those differences."
Germany, foe exmaple, had different vaccine plans prior to the country's unification in 1990. 'While West Germany provided BCG vaccines to infants from 1961 to 1998, East Germany started their BCG vaccinations a decade earlier, but stopped in 1975. This means that older Germans—the population most at risk from COVID-19—in the country's eastern states would have more protection from the current pandemic than their peers in western German states. Recent data shows this to be the case: western German states have experienced mortality rates that are 2.9 times higher than those in eastern Germany,' the edition noted.
In the meantime, the World Health Organization claims there is no convincing evidence that the tuberculosis vaccine can protect people from COVID-19, and does not recommend its use for prevention.