WHO says no evidence suggests BCG vaccine can protect against COVID-19 - South Asia Time

WHO says no evidence suggests BCG vaccine can protect against COVID-19

 April 17, 2020  

GENEVA: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no evidence that the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, which is primarily used against tuberculosis, protects people against infection with the novel coronavirus.

The WHO, therefore, didn’t recommend BCG vaccination for the prevention of COVID-19 in the absence of evidence, according to its daily situation report on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

WHO stated that there is experimental evidence from both animal and human studies that the BCG vaccine has non-specific effects on the immune system. These effects have not been well characterized and their clinical relevance remains unknown.

Two clinical trials addressing the question are underway, and WHO will evaluate the evidence when it is available, it noted.

BCG vaccination prevents severe forms of tuberculosis in children and diversion of local supplies may result in an increase of disease and deaths from tuberculosis, it warned.