While the number of people who died in Spain as a result of the emerging coronavirus exceeded 13,000, the number of victims of this pandemic in Portugal barely exceeded two hundred.
Although the cause of the disparity in the number of victims within the Iberian Peninsula is still mysterious, there is an explanation when the national vaccination process against BCG, which many countries of the world implement by giving it to its citizens for decades, is talked about.
The BCG vaccine is a bacterial vaccine that has existed for nearly a hundred years, and is still given in many countries to this day, and has a strong impact against meningitis and tuberculosis in children, in addition to its effective capacity, so it should protect the respiratory system from viruses and bacteria.
A new scientific study reveals a possible relationship between countries where vaccination against BCG is mandatory and the extent of the damage caused by the emerging coronavirus in this or that country, according to euronews.
Italy, the Netherlands and the United States
The authors of the study wrote: “We found that countries without a BCG vaccination program, as in Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States, were severely affected by the Coruna virus compared to countries that have had long-term national vaccination policies.”
“There are reports that (BCG vaccination) can produce broad protection against respiratory infections,” said Gonzalo Otazu, a researcher at the New York Institute of Technology and one of the study’s authors, in his Twitter account.
“We saw the data, and we found that countries that have never implemented BCG vaccination programs were severely affected by the” Covid-19 “virus, with a rise in the number of deaths relative to the number of infected people.”
Japan and Iran
Otazu compared the effects of the Corona pandemic to countries whose citizens apply mandatory BCG vaccination, and those without a national vaccination program with said vaccine.
Italy, the country with the highest number of deaths due to “Covid-19” with 13915 cases, has never applied the mandatory vaccination program against tuberculosis, while Japan, where only 63 people died from the pandemic, has a strict national vaccination program against tuberculosis .
The researchers also compared Japan and Iran, and found that the first adopted a comprehensive national immunization program in 1947, while Iran, where more than 3,600 deaths from the Corona pandemic were recorded, the national vaccination was approved with BCG in 1984.
The authors wrote: “Countries that started late BCG vaccination programs have a high mortality rate, consistent with the idea that the national vaccination program protects vaccinated elderly people,” adding that countries implementing the national vaccination program have experienced a decrease in the number of Reported cases of infection.
Eastern and Western Europe
Perhaps the research gives an answer to the sharp variation in the effect of the Corona virus between Western and Eastern countries in Europe, because the programs for universal vaccination against tuberculosis were widespread in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
In the same context, it is noted that in the eastern states of Germany, which were part of the socialist system under Soviet rule before Germany prepared for its unity in the year 1990, it has, that is, the eastern German states, a smaller number of cases of “Covid-19”, as One case is reported for every 100,000 people, according to Robert Koch Institute national statistics.
In Spain, the second country in the world with the number of deaths from infection with the Coronavirus, one region in it subjects citizens to the mandatory vaccination program for BCG vaccine, which is the Basque Country. According to the Spanish Center for Pediatrics.
Clinical trials in Australia
A team of Australian researchers announced last Friday that they had started a widespread tuberculosis vaccine test to see if it could protect health care workers from the emerging coronavirus.
The researchers at the Murdoch Institute in Melbourne: About four thousand workers in the country’s hospitals will participate in a clinical trial that seeks to determine whether the tuberculosis vaccine can reduce the symptoms of “Covid-19”.
In a statement to them, the Australian researchers said: “Although it was originally developed for tuberculosis and is still given to more than 130 million children every year, the BCG vaccination program also increases the body’s primary immune ability, helping it respond more strongly.” For germs. ”
“We hope to see a decrease in the frequency and severity of Covid-19 symptoms in health care workers who have been vaccinated using the BCG vaccination program,” says lead researcher Nigel Curtis, and similar tests will be conducted in other countries such as the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom. .
And if doctors can prove the success of the clinical trial, the elderly and other people at risk of developing “Covid-19”, because of their conditions, can receive the TB vaccine to cope with future outbreaks of corona viruses.