The fallout was significant when experts from Fiocruz, the MS State Department of Health and MCRI (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute), of Australia, announced in July 2020 that they would begin a study in Mato Grosso do Sul to assess whether the BCG vaccine (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) could help. ), which are used against tuberculosis, in protection against Covid-19.
Now, according to infection scientist Julio Croda, a researcher at Fiocurz who is coordinating the study in Brazil, samples are already being sent to Australia, the country where the analyzes will be carried out. “We’ll have the results soon, maybe in January.”
The BCG vaccine has been mandatory in Brazil for decades for newborns and made available by the SUS (Unified Health System). In Campo Grande, the test was carried out on 2,000 health professionals. Since the study was launched in March 2020, 6,800 healthcare professionals have been recruited from 36 sites in Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The research will explore the immune response to vaccines for specific diseases in healthcare professionals to find biomarkers that indicate whether a person will be protected (or will remain at risk of contracting Covid-19) if they are exposed to a variant of the emerging coronavirus. The research received philanthropic funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Researchers will see if the volunteers have a protective response to the virus, compared to those who were not vaccinated as children.
“It has been observed in two large studies that children vaccinated with BCG have fewer viral and bacterial infections. It supports an important innate cellular response that is not specific to the organism, it is a general response that provides protection. In the case of Covid, which is a serious disease, we believe it is As a type of vaccine that generates such a strong response, it may be useful, especially in higher-risk groups, such as health professionals, to avoid more severe forms of the disease, Julio Croda said at the time.
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