Researchers testing 100-year old TB vaccine to fight COVID-19

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 30, 2020 Published on March 30, 2020

Scientists across the globe are testing a 100-year old vaccine for tuberculosis as a protective measure against COVID-19, according to media reports.

A TB vaccine called bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is being tested on healthcare workers in Melbourne to see if the vaccine will act as a protective measure against the novel coronavirus, Bloomberg reported. The immunisation trial using BCG is targeted specifically against the coronavirus pandemic with emphasis on its effectiveness in cases of clinical severity. The research is extensively being conducted on healthcare workers and elders, as per the report.

With a dedicated vaccine over a year away, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that it was important to know if the vaccine could help curb the spread and impact of the pandemic. The WHO is encouraging international groups to collaborate with the Australian study led by Nigel Curtis, head of infectious diseases research, at the Murdoch Children Hospital, the report said.

Furthermore, a team of 1,000 healthcare workers have been recruited in the Netherlands to test the vaccine. Serum Institute of India will also begin clinical trials with another tuberculosis vaccine VPM1002 to check if it is effective as a preventive and immunity booster vaccine against Covid-19, according to media reports.

In a global race for a COVID-19 vaccine, China last week started the first phase of a clinical trial for its novel coronavirus vaccine. Earlier this month, US health officials had also said that they had started their trial to evaluate a possible vaccine in Seattle as per previous reports. The WHO has also initiated a global mega trial of four of the most promising COVID-19 drugs called the ‘Solidarity trial’ in which India is likely to participate as per previous reports.

Published on March 30, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.