The tuberculosis vaccine BCG does not provide protection to vulnerable elderly people against Covid-19, as shown by a large study of over 6000 people aged 60 and over who have been vaccinated with the drug since September. The study was conducted in twenty Dutch hospitals.
It was intended that the subjects who were already under treatment with a medical specialist would be better protected against infection with the virus after administration. The vaccine gives the immune system a boost. According to research leader Marc Bonten of UMC Utrecht, the conclusion is clear. “The BCG vaccine does not provide protection against Covid-19 for vulnerable elderly people. Although disappointing, it is important to share the preliminary data right away during the pandemic.”
many people with the vaccine as from the control group (placebo) fell ill. There are 107 people in total. While the researchers hoped beforehand that the vaccine would provide a large degree of protection. BCG was considered promising on the basis of a study from Greece. Minister Hugo de Jonge called the study in November “one of the promising projects in the fight against corona.”
The investigation has not been shut down. Scientists are still investigating whether the people who received the TB medicine have become seriously ill less often. Also, they look at other respiratory infections.
In the Netherlands there are several studies on the effect of BCG on Covid-19, involving other research groups.