2 years 8 months ago - 2 years 8 months ago #60427 by joea73
Sorry folks, I might have misunderstood and misinformed.

The article was not the result of various clinical studies such as “BCG Vaccine for Health Care Workers as Defense Against COVID 19 (BADAS)”, which is still going on with an estimated primary completion date of May 2021. The article is not evidence, but rather it is still about the association between BCG vaccine and COVID-19 related death rate. The evidence data from BADAS should be available in May 2021 time frame. Having said that well known Dr. Ashish Kamat of MD Anderson in Texas is the authors’ list. MD Anderson is the sponsor for BADAS clinical trial and Dr. Kamat is involved in BADAS clinical trial as a urologist who is familiar with intravesical BCG treatment for bladder cancer. I thought If the interim result of BADAS trial is so compelling, they would have announced the result early to save the lives of many people by BCG vaccine. But, there has been no announcement of the interim result. So, I was thinking that BADAS trial was not showing good efficacy against the COVID-19 virus in the clinical trial. So, when I saw Dr. KAMAT name on the authors’ list, I jumped to the conclusion prematurely that this was also to do with the result of the clinical trials. My apology. Still, the fact that the paper was published in Nature now, in the midst of the pandemic crisis, and it looks like a well-known business consulting firm McKinsey and Company was involved in the analysis of data using machine learning (AI) (I have guessed their involvement by seeing several authors are from McKinsey), someone must have thought that the paper has significance in dealing with the current pandemic.

It looks like the paper was submitted to Nature in June 2020 and accepted in December 2020.

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2 years 8 months ago #60425 by joea73
As we are aware, since March 2020, several clinical trials have been going to evaluate if the BCG vaccine works for the COVID-19 virus.

The first result was just published today in Nature.

Conclusion of the study

For countries included in our analysis using an a priori, rigid entry criteria, the presence of an active BCG immunization program for the past 15 years and total population are associated with improved COVID-19 specific mortality while the share of the population over 65 years of age is associated with increased CRM. For the included countries BCG15 vaccination programs are associated with a 71% reduction in the risk for CRM independent of population, population density, temperature, the share of population above 65 years, and the stringency index of each country. A reduction in CRM was observed in 80% of country clusters for BCG15. This ecological analysis provides the most robust data regarding the association of COVID-19 specific mortality and BCG vaccination programs. These findings suggest that BCG vaccination is one of many potential additions to our armamentarium in the fight to reduce mortality related to COVID-19.

This is good news and also raises some worry.

The good news is that those who had BCG treatment for bladder cancer may have some benefit.

The concern is that there can be an increase in demand for BCG and it may impact the supply of BCG for bladder cancer.

There was a surge in the demand for BCG vaccine in Japan early this year because of the sudden increase of the order for Intravesical BCG for bladder cancer. They speculated that some doctors started hoarding Intravesical BCG, which they were going to use for the COVID-19 virus. The association of the urologists in Japan had stepped in and the BCG manufacturer stopped selling the intravesical BCG to general doctors. At that time, it was just speculation that BCG would have some efficacy against the COVID-19 virus. But now BCG is shown to benefit against the COVID-19 virus, those countries who cannot access the vaccines for COVID-19 may opt for the BCG vaccine. This will not only impact the BCG vaccine for tuberculosis but also BCG for bladder cancer treatment. For North America, we should be okay as MERCK only manufactures BCG for bladder cancer treatment, not for BCG vaccine for tuberculosis. But, we are already experiencing the shortage now, so we should be paying attention to BCG demand worldwide because of this published result. Below is the link to the paper.

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