According to a study by the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR), a vaccine that has been used to treat tuberculosis for almost a century may help lower the risk of COVID-19 infections in older persons.
Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is one of the most widely used vaccinations in the world, with around 130 million newborns receiving it each year. BCG has the capacity to stop immunological cells in the blood from producing indicators of infection.
Researchers from the ICMR-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis and the ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology claim they aren't sure how long this inhibitory impact will last. According to the researchers, BCG immunisation may provide protection against viral infections of the respiratory system.
BCG vaccination did not cause hyper-inflammation, but it did cause a down-modulation of basic immune response. It's plausible that BCG vaccination has no effect on pathogen-specific immune responses, or even enhances them, according to the researchers.
In their immune systems, vaccinated people had lower amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory responses.
The researchers concluded, “In conclusion, the current study emphasizes that the effect of BCG vaccination is safe and does not lead to increased inflammation in elderly individuals.”
The study did admit to certain flaws, such as the lack of a placebo control group (only unvaccinated controls at baseline).
According to the researchers, a better understanding of the findings could help support clinical effectiveness and explore new BCG vaccination possibilities.