No guideline of using BCG vaccine for Covid-19 prevention: medical expert

Currently, there has been no guideline to prescribe Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine to prevent Covid-19 - the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, said Director of the National Lung Hospital Professor Nguyen Viet Nhung.
Vietnam has reported no new cases of Covid-19, keeping the country’s total number of Covid-19 cases at 270, the Ministry of Health announced yesterday. Of 270 Covid-19 patients, 225 were recovered.
Lately, the national steering board for Covid-19 prevention and control and the Ministry of Health assigned the National Lung Hospital and the General Department Of Preventive Medicine to research BCG vaccine use for Covid-19 prevention, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology to carry out the research into the alleged correlation within the context of Vietnam.
Director Nguyen Viet Nhung said that BCG vaccine is used for prevent tuberculosis for years. Through research on Covid-19 development and infected patients’ conditions in the world, some studies have shown that there has been a correlation between a country’s Covid-19 caseload and death rate and whether that country has conducted universal BCG childhood vaccination.
However, until now, there has been no proven evidence that the vaccine might provide protection against the worst effects of the novel strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The Netherlands, Australia, France and South Africa have been conducting researches on it.
According to Professor Nguyen Viet Nhung, the National Lung Hospital has proposed two ways for researches.
First, Vietnam, Cambodia and France will take part in a clinical trial designed to see whether the BCG vaccine could help protect high-risk health workers against Covid-19.
Vietnam will collect 800 samples from Vietnamese health workers, Cambodia 400 and France 1,000 for the research.
Second, health experts could just conduct an evaluation on the pool of Covid-19 patients in Vietnam. Based on condition of Covid-19 patients in Vietnam, researchers will assess the correlation between those who have been vaccinated with BCG and those who haven't and those having close contact with Covid-19 patients but they didn’t contract the virus. Researchers will assess whether the immunized group had quicker recoveries and fewer critical cases than the non-immunized group.

By Quoc Khanh - Translated by Anh Quan

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