Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu to launch trial to study efficacy of BCG vaccine in the elderly

Photograph used for representational purposes only

Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP

The study will focus on the vaccine’s potential in reducing morbidity due to COVID-19, preventing hospitalisation, and reducing mortality

Tamil Nadu will soon launch a trial to study the efficacy of the BCG vaccine in reducing morbidity and mortality due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the elderly. The National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT), Chennai, will take up the trial, which has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar said.

BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin), a vaccine against tuberculosis, is being administered to infants as part of the National Immunisation Schedule for 50 years in India. It is known that the vaccine improves innate immunity. It is learned that there is a possibility that the vaccine could reduce the morbidity and mortality rates due to COVID-19 in the elderly (aged 60 to 95 years), the Minister said in a press release issued on Wednesday.

In this light, the State government, after considering the fact that there were no appropriate drugs for the treatment of COVID-19, had sought a nod from the ICMR to study the efficacy of the BCG vaccine in the elderly. The ICMR has granted approval for the trial, and it would start soon at NIRT, an ICMR institute, he said.

The study would focus on the vaccine’s potential in reducing morbidity due to COVID-19, preventing hospitalisation, and reducing mortality due to COVID-19 in the aged. It is known that the elderly, persons with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiac diseases are at higher risk for COVID-19.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 7:58:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-to-launch-trial-to-study-efficacy-of-bcg-vaccine-in-the-elderly/article32089636.ece

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