American epidemiologists have found a link between deaths from CAVID-19 in different countries and how long ago and how widely the BCG vaccine designed to fight tuberculosis was used in them. The results of the study are published on the medRxiv portal.
“Countries where universal BCG vaccination has not been adopted, including Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States, have been hardest hit by COVID-19,” the scientists write.
They found that BCG vaccination reduced the rate of infection with the virus. According to researchers, the combination of reduced mortality and morbidity can make this vaccination one of the main tools in the fight against coronavirus.
As part of the study, scientists tested how BCG vaccination itself can affect the spread of coronavirus and the risk of death from infection in the most vulnerable segments of the population. In addition, the impact of the country’s standard of living and health development on the spread and lethality of COVID-19 was also studied.
It turned out that the rate of spread of coronavirus and the death rate depends on economic indicators. However, this was not the case in several countries, including the United States, Iran, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and other European countries.
In all these countries, either the BCG vaccine has never been used EN masse, or it has been used relatively recently. The authors of the study believe that this has affected the fact that in these countries the incidence of infection is four times higher than the global average. There were similar indicators for the death rate.
Scientists also noted that in poor countries, where BCG vaccination is constantly given to the entire population for a long time, there is an extremely low level of mortality from coronavirus infection, which is not comparable to the level of economic development. The attention of the authors of the study in this context was drawn, in particular, to Brazil. Scientists believe that this indicates the effectiveness of BCG to protect the body from a new type of coronavirus.
In addition, researchers consider noteworthy statistics on the spread of coronavirus in China, where BCG began to be used in the 50s, but during the”cultural revolution ” of 1966-1976, mass vaccination was discontinued. According to the study author Aaron Miller, this decision played a role in the emergence of a vulnerable segment of the population that contributed to the spread of COVID-19 in the early stages of the epidemic.