Geneva, April 14 (IANS) There is no evidence that the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, which is primarily used against tuberculosis, protects people against infection with the novel coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
The WHO therefore didn’t recommend BCG vaccination for the prevention of COVID-19 in the absence of evidence, according to its daily situation report on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.
“There is experimental evidence from both animal and human studies that the BCG vaccine has non-specific effects on the immune system. These effects have not been well characterized and their clinical relevance remains unknown,” WHO stated.
Two clinical trials addressing the question are underway, and WHO will evaluate the evidence when it is available, it noted.
BCG vaccination prevents severe forms of tuberculosis in children and diversion of local supplies may result in an increase of disease and deaths from the tuberculosis, it warned.