Tuberculosis vaccine could help adults fight coronavirus

First Coronavirus vaccines won’t arrive until Spring
POSSIBLE VACCINE: BCG shot could help with coronavirus. CREDIT: Dimitri Houtteman on Unsplash

Researchers are claiming that the tuberculosis vaccine, which is usually given to children, could be set to help adults fight against coronavirus.

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THE BCG vaccine which was given to children to protect them from tuberculosis is said to stimulate the immune system and is set to be trialled by 10,000 people globally.

In the largest trial of its kind, the UK, led by the University of Exeter supported by funding from the Peter Sowerby Foundation, has joined study centres in Australia, the Netherlands, Spain and Brazil.

Many children will remember receiving their Bacillus Calmette–Guerin (BCG) injection at school until routine vaccinations were stopped in 2005 due to low rates of TB in the general population.

The study has received more than $10 million (€8.5 million) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is coordinated by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia.

The Exeter trial has been seeking out frontline care and healthcare workers as potential “guinea pigs” to attend clinics in Exeter in order to help with the study.

Professor John Campbell, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “BCG has been shown to boost immunity in a generalised way, which may offer some protection against Covid-19.”

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