Researchers from the University of Exeter in the UK have launched a large-scale project to study the impact of the classic tuberculosis vaccine BCG on the COVID-19 coronavirus. It will be attended by about a thousand people across the country.
BCG (bacillus Calmette-Guerin) was developed in 1921. It is reported that as early as the 1970s, the results of studies were published in medical publications, which showed that BCG provides protection not only against tuberculosis, but also against other infectious diseases.
For example, a study conducted in Guinea-Bissau showed that BCG vaccination reduced infant mortality by 38% from a variety of causes, mainly from pneumonia and sepsis. Studies in South Africa showed that BCG use helped reduce the spread of lung infections by 73%, and according to experiments by Dutch doctors, the vaccine can even protect the body from yellow fever.
“This can be a discovery of global importance. If the BCG vaccine provides nonspecific protection against coronavirus, then this can win several years for full trials of a drug directly intended to protect against COVID-19, ” leads“BBC” the words of the teacher at the University of Exeter Medical School, Professor John Campbell.
However, the use of the BCG vaccine against coronavirus has its own difficulties. Those who received the vaccine as a child will have to do it again in order for it to have an effect against coronavirus infection. In the same Great Britain, BCG vaccination has not been carried out since 2005 due to the low incidence of tuberculosis in the country.
In addition, BCG does not cause the human immune system to produce antibodies and specific white blood cells that resist the penetration of the coronavirus into the patient’s body.
Nevertheless, the project on the use of BCG against COVID-19 received international support. The study, which is being conducted by the University of Exeter, is part of a larger project involving 10,000 people in five countries.
The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, published an article in the Lancet, in which he wrote that BCG has the potential to be “an important tool” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic before a reliable specific vaccine is available.
In August, Russia registered the world‘s first coronavirus vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V. The drug was developed at the Gamaleya Research Center for Electrochemistry. On September 7, post-registration clinical trials of the substance began in the capital, and on September 9, doctors vaccinated the first participants.
The former chief sanitary doctor of the Russian Federation, State Duma deputy Gennady Onishchenko said that a person who received the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, according to his calculations, should comply with all necessary safety measures 31 daysuntil antibodies to the virus are developed. The director of the Gamaleya Center, Alexander Gintsburg, also believes that it will be possible to stop wearing a mask only three weeks after the introduction of the second component of the drug and the determination of the level of antibodies.