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Covid-19: what if the tuberculosis vaccine also protected against the coronavirus?

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Neonatal vaccination with the tuberculosis vaccine could have beneficial side effects, and be particularly useful in the fight against pandemics, including Covid-19, according to scientists.

What if the tuberculosis vaccine, also called “BCG”, was also effective in the fight against Covid-19? This is the question posed by American scientists, who are currently conducting a study to find out if BCG inoculated in childhood has a possible positive effect on diabetes, reveals the journal Science.

The result obtained by the researchers is also encouraging in the fight against the coronavirus, since there were no cases of Covid in the group of study participants who had received three doses of BCG, unlike the group not -vaccinated. According to another study conducted by the American Academy of Sciences (PNAS) dated January 11, 2022, “Vaccination against tuberculosis, inactivated influenza vaccine, oral polio vaccine and other vaccines have been associated with some protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection and an improvement in COVID-19 disease”.

Other positive side effects

The positive side effects of the tuberculosis vaccine do not stop there: BCG vaccination has an effect “on the reduction of neonatal mortality” explains the American Academy of Sciences. She details how, in Guinea-Bissau, the vaccination of low birth weight newborns with the tuberculosis vaccine resulted in a “reduction of neonatal mortality”.

In France, the obligation to vaccinate against tuberculosis has been suspended since 2007. The BCG vaccine is therefore no longer compulsory, but remains nevertheless recommended for children. Vaccination coverage against tuberculosis reaches 58% in France, according to data from Public Health France updated in 2022. The production of the vaccine has been abandoned by the last French laboratory to produce it, Sanofi.

Other vaccines protect against diseases other than those against which they were injected. This is for example the case of the flu vaccine, which could have a positive effect in the fight against Covid-19, according to American researchers. “The probability of being tested positive for Covid-19 was reduced by 24% in patients who received an influenza vaccine compared to those who did not receive it” explain the authors of this study, in the ‘American Journal of Injunction Control.

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