ICMR study finds BCG vaccine offers protection against COVID-19 in elderly
New Delhi, Oct 29: BCG or the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin is beneficial against COVID-19 among elderly people, scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) concluded.
In July, the ICMR had said it would conduct a multi-centric study to assess whether the BCG vaccine, used against tuberculosis, can prevent the occurrence of coronavirus infection and reduce the severity of the disease and mortality among elderly individuals residing in hotspot areas.
The research concluded that the BCG vaccination was associated with enhanced innate and adaptive memory cell subsets as well as total antibody levels in elderly individuals, suggesting its potential utility in SARS-CoV2 infection which causes Covid-19, by enhancing heterologous immunity.
An ICMR statement read, "in an ongoing study, scientists at ICMR have found that the BCG vaccine induces increased memory cell responses and total antibody production in elderly."
an ongoing study, scientists at ICMR have found that the BCG vaccine induces increased memory cell responses and total antibody production in elderly," it was also stated.
As a part of this multi-centric study which will be carried out at six sites, elderly people not affected by coronavirus infection, will be given the Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccine. The same BCG vaccine that is administered to newborn babies as a part of National Immunization programme for more than 50 years in the country will be used in this study," the ICMR had said in July.
"The objective is to see if the shots can prevent the occurrence of the coronavirus infection and reduce the severity of the disease and mortality rate among the elderly individuals residing in hotspot areas," the ICMR had also said.