May 16, 2020
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BCG vaccine, most likely, does not affect the incidence of COVID-19

Israeli scientists in a cohort study showed that between a cohort of patients vaccinated against childhood tuberculosis and a cohort who did not receive this There is no statistically significant difference in the proportion of COVID cases - 11.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease, as and mortality rates vary from country to country. One reason for this, as suggested, could be a national BCG vaccination policy for children. In countries where mass vaccination against tuberculosis is used, the incidence statistics were more favorable than in countries where mass vaccination is not carried out. But the epidemiological picture in different countries may differ depending on the phase of the outbreak, the average age of the affected population, quarantine measures, the number of tests carried out or underreporting of statistics by political forces.

In Israel, as part of the national immunization program, from 361 to 1982 all newborns were vaccinated with BCG for a year. In 1982, this requirement was canceled, and the vaccine was given only to immigrants from countries with a high prevalence of tuberculosis. To evaluate the effectiveness of BCG vaccination against coronavirus, the researchers compared the number of cases in two age groups, outlining them three years before and after the abolition of universal vaccination. This is a generation born from 1955 to 1979 year (now them 39-41 years), and a generation born between 1983 and 1985 year (now - 11 - 37 years).

Current policy of the Ministry Israeli health care is such that anyone who undergoes the slightest symptoms that may indicate the presence of a coronavirus infection (cough, shortness of breath, high fever) undergoes PCR testing for coronavirus. The observation period in this study is from March 1 to April 5 1985 of the year. To obtain not only a quantitative indicator, but also to compare the percentage of cases in each generation, demographic data from the Central Bureau of Statistics were used.

From 060 39 tests for this period of time 3064 were born between 1979 and 1981 for years, and 2869 - on unvaccinated people born between 1982 and 1985 for years. This is 1, % and 0, 96% of all citizens of those generations, respectively. For the first and second groups, the number of positive results was 96 [11,7%] and 299 [10,4%].

That is, no significant difference was found between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. It was not possible to measure the difference in the severity of the course of the disease, since in each study group only one person fell under the ventilator and there were no deaths.

The absolute reliability of the results is hindered by the large number of immigrants from different countries in Israel, many of whom fall into the generations under study. Their BCG status is unclear, however, it was not possible to exclude them from the study. Although, according to the authors, most of these immigrants come from countries where there was no BCG vaccination, and most likely they were evenly distributed between the two groups and could not significantly affect the result.

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