Can BCG prevent new coronas? Now “scientifically unfounded” April 16th 18:14

"BCG vaccine" to prevent familiar tuberculosis by "hanko injection".
It has been noted that it may be related to the prevention of new coronavirus infection and its severity after the onset of disease, and clinical studies have begun overseas. However, the effect is still "at the stage without evidence".
While some people want to get BCG vaccination, it is pointed out that they may run out of vaccines for infants.
(Taichi Soga, Reporter, International Department)

Why are you paying attention to BCG

BCG is a familiar vaccine that was first made about 100 years ago by a French research institute for the purpose of preventing tuberculosis, and is also known in Japan as the "hanko injection" vaccination method.
According to the Tuberculosis Research Institute, a regular vaccination system was introduced in Japan after the war when tuberculosis was widespread, and even now, regular vaccinations are being given to 0-year-olds.
This vaccine has received a lot of attention in relation to the new coronavirus in countries that have been widely vaccinated against all members of a certain generation, such as infants, and those that have not been vaccinated. It is pointed out that there is a difference in the number of

This is the world BCG vaccination situation announced in 2017 by McGill University in Canada.

In countries and regions such as Asia and Africa, including Japan and South Korea that are light blue, and Russia and other countries and regions, BCG has been widely inoculated, while red, France, Germany, and Spain have been widely inoculated in the past, but are currently inoculated. No, it is said that such vaccinations have never been performed in the green America, Italy, the Netherlands, etc.

According to Johns Hopkins University's April 16 summary, more than 2 million people have been infected with the new coronavirus worldwide, and more people have died in the United States, Italy, Spain and France.
Professor Stefan Kaoffmann of the Max Planck Institute in Germany, a world-class immunology authority, is also paying attention to the “correlation” between BCG and the new coronavirus.

Professor Stefan Kaofmann
"The United States, Italy, and the Netherlands have not been vaccinated broadly with BCG. These data are merely correlations and are not directly related, but BCG is a new model. I think it's well worth investigating whether it's effective against coronavirus infections. ''

"BCG" attracting attention in immunology research

BCG, which is a "100-year-old" vaccine, has recently attracted attention in the field of immunology.

According to Professor Kaofman, BCG stimulates macrophages and dendritic cells, which are responsible for human body immunity, and promotes secretion of cytokines, thereby creating T cells and antibodies that destroy virus-infected cells. Recent studies have shown that it has the effect of strengthening the function of cells, and as a result, the immunity is increased to some extent.

So far, it has been reported that some effects have been seen against seasonal influenza viruses and the RS virus that causes pneumonia in infants.

Clinical research begins

Overseas, studies have also begun to confirm the effects of BCG on the novel coronavirus in humans.
One of them is the team of Professor Mihai Netea of ​​Radbaud University in the Netherlands. Professor Netea is a leading researcher investigating the relationship between BCG and immunity, and this time in an interview with NHK:

Professor Mihai Netea
"In light of past research, we can make a hypothesis that BCG may be effective against the new coronavirus. BCG may prevent the severity of infections caused by the new coronavirus. No. We will analyze it including the effect of preventing infection. "

Professor Netea's team has already begun clinical studies of health care workers at eight hospitals in the Netherlands.
We inoculated 1500 people and analyzed whether there would be a difference in the ratio of infection compared to the group that did not. It will take three to six months to get the first results.

WHO "Not recommended at this time"

Meanwhile, problems are starting to occur.
Some people are starting to want to inoculate with BCG in anticipation of the effect against the new coronavirus.
WHO = World Health Organization and overseas experts say that it is not advisable to give vaccination to people who are not eligible for regular vaccination at this time, because there is no scientific basis yet.

WHO's view:
"At this stage, where there is no evidence, it is not advisable to vaccinate with the BCG vaccine to prevent new coronavirus infections."

Professor Netea
"At present, there is no reason for the general public to be vaccinated with BCG. First, it is necessary to carefully wait for the results of clinical research. After that, it will be vaccinated. If that happens, authorities and manufacturers should discuss it and decide who to target. ''

Unexpected risk

Behind these movements are not only the unexpected side effects, but also the fact that the supply of BCG as a whole may be affected. Medical problems have already been reported in Japan.

The original method of BCG is to inoculate the skin with a special medical device such as a "hanko" called "kanshin", but according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare this month, it will be the same as a normal injection. It was reported that there were cases of side effects such as fever, hematuria, and hives as a result of subcutaneous injection.

According to Yasutaka Mizuno, a practitioner and practitioner of the Japan Society for Infectious Diseases and the Japanese Pediatric Society, there are more and more inquiries recently regarding whether or not BCG can be inoculated from elderly people who are not parents of infants.

Kenji Okada, President of the Japanese Society of Vaccine, said:

Kenji Okada, Chairman of the Japan Vaccine Society
"I understand the feeling that I want to inoculate with a straw bite, but I do not know if it has an effect on the new coronavirus. If you get the vaccination, you may have unexpected side effects. "

Stable supply to threatened children

Only one company manufactures BCG in Japan, and according to the company, since March 30th, three times as many orders have been placed as compared to the same period of the usual year. It takes about eight months to make BCG, and it is difficult to increase production immediately.

According to the Japan Vaccine Society, the number of fatalities in Japan is lower than in overseas countries, "it is thought that it is largely due to the self-control behavior and attention of each individual citizen", " We must avoid situations in which the stable supply of vaccines will be affected. ”

Taiga Soga, Reporter, International Affairs Department
Joined in 2012,
Sapporo Station, etc., International Department, Stanford University Visiting Researcher, Digital Technology, Europe, etc.