BCG as a game-changer to prevent the infection and severity of COVID-19 pandemic?

Main Article Content

A.R. Sharma
G. Batra
M. Kumar
A. Mishra
R. Singla
A. Singh
R.S. Singh
B. Medhi

Keywords

BCG, COVID-19, HCW, Revaccination, Immune response, Antigen specific immunity

Abstract

The impact of COVID-19 is changing with country wise and depend on universal immunization policies. COVID-19 badly affects countries that did not have universal immunization policies or having them only for the selective population of countries (highly prominent population) like Italy, USA, UK, Netherland, etc. Universal immunization of BCG can provide great protection against the COVID-19 infection because the BCG vaccine gives broad protection against respiratory infections. BCG vaccine induces expressions of the gene that are involved in the antiviral innate immune response against viral infections with long-term maintenance of BCG vaccine-induced cellular immunity. COVID-19 cases are reported very much less in the countries with universal BCG vaccination policies such as India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Israel, Japan, etc. as compared to without BCG implemented countries such as the USA, Italy, Spain, Canada, UK, etc. BCG vaccine provides protection for 50-60 years of immunization, so the elderly population needs to be revaccinated with BCG. Several countries started clinical trials of the BCG vaccine for health care workers and elderly people. BCG can be uses as a prophylactic treatment until the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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