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Exciting new findings suggest that the cure for the coronavirus may have been under our noses all this time.
Bacillus Calmette–Guérin, or BCG vaccine, is commonly used to inoculate against tuberculosis (TB). It works by delivering a boost to the immune system cells in the bone marrow, which are then released and respond to all sorts of pathogens. That helps to protect against TB, but also a host of other diseases. It is used to treat measles, malaria, bladder cancer, and it also decreases respiratory infections in older people.
countries with BCG vaccination programmes are having fewer cases than those without
Interestingly, the USA and Italy are among the rich, developed countries to have never had a universal BCG programme.
From data gathered over 15 days of the current pandemic, incidence of Covid-19 was 38.4/million in countries with BCG vaccination compared to 358.4/million in countries without. The mortality rate was 4.28/million in countries with BCG programs compared to 40/million in countries without such a program.
Therefore, there are roughly 10 times fewer cases and deaths in countries with BCG vaccination.
Do the benefits of the tuberculosis vaccine outweigh its risks?
The tuberculosis vaccine is not highly effective at preventing lung infections caused by the tuberculosis bacteria. For this reason, the vaccine is only recommended for a fairly uncommon subset of those in contact with someone infected with tuberculosis ─ specifically someone in constant contact with a person infected with TB who either refuses to take antibiotics or is infected with a strain that is resistant to all antibiotics. On the other hand, the tuberculosis vaccine has no serious side effects. Therefore, in the uncommon subset of people who should use the vaccine, the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.