The world may be coming close to a season of relief and fresh hope over the possibility Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine curing the dreaded coronavirus ravaging several countries. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine was discovered 100 years ago and used in the treatment of tuberculosis.
Coronavirus outbreak came with the notion that there is no cure for the infection, just like HIV/Aids at the early stage and subsequently SARS, Ebola, etc. accordingly, researchers and scientists have been busy in their laboratories in search of solution to coronavirus which has been spreading rapidly across countries of the world with little hope of survival of the human race.
The laboratory experimentation culminated into the findings that a 100-year-old vaccine, BCG, could be used as therapy for coronavirus. The vaccine which was first developed as therapy for tuberculosis (TB), has been under study for clinical trials as a possible therapy for coronavirus.
Africa has huge advantage on the use of BCG vaccine. This was the vaccine that was used for immunization of pupils in the primary schools in the West African sub-region when they were children. The vaccine was applied with an injector in the 1970s and 1980s on the right arm of pupils then; it subsequently left a big mark on the right arm.
The advantage of that immunization may be what the African continent is gaining now in the outburst of coronavirus. This may be the reason for the low mortality rate in the sub Saharan Africa.
Meanwhile, the recent finding and clinical trials on BCG could be a reflection that God is beginning to open the eyes of science to know what to do; indicating that the prayers of the Church is prevailing.
This is upturning prediction of disaster, as Bill Gate once pronounced, to seeing Africa as a hope for the world.
The efficacy of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine in curing coronavirus infection is currently undergoing clinical analysis across the world.
It has been acknowledged that coronavirus and tuberculosis constitute two different and non-similar diseases. It has been identified that while coronavirus – COVID-19 – is caused by a virus, TB is caused by bacteria. However, they are both caused by biological microorganisms. The Director of Immunobiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Denise Faustman, postulated that the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine could assist people build immune responses to other diseases beside tuberculosis, which causes off-target effects.
Faustman revealed that people have started showing positive responses in clinical trials after being administered BCG vaccine.
The Associate Professor conducted study on the effects of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine on people with Type 1 Diabetes. She extended her hypothesis to how the off-target effects can change the immune system of a person in ways that are beneficial with those who have Type 1 Diabetes.
Though, researchers are yet to confirm what the actual mechanism is for the off-target effects of the BCG vaccine, they are of the conclusion that this can assist a boost to the immune system’s response.
However, Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, has an ambivalent opinion. he stated: “I think BCG vaccine is a bit of the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass and it’s such an outside-the-box concept that one would like to be optimistic, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Meanwhile, researchers have high optimism that the BCG vaccine will be show effectiveness in the treatment of COVID-19.
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