Sanctions have been imposed on a trial by the tuberculosis institute of the Indian Medical Research Council in Chennai to study the effectiveness of the BCG vaccine in the elderly in combating COVID-19, the government announced on Wednesday .
Chief Minister K Palaniswami, in an order, gave state approval after the ICMR asked the government of Tamil Nadu for permission to study the efficacy of the Bacillus Calmette-Gurin (BCG) vaccine in the elderly at its National Tuberculosis Research Institute (NIRT) in Chetpet, said Health Minister C Vijayabaskar.
The NIRT said that screening for people aged 60 and older and their administration of the BCG vaccine have started, said a senior official.
The objective of the multicenter study, in which elderly people not affected by the coronavirus are vaccinated, is to see if this vaccination campaign reduces the mortality rate and contributes to reducing the incidence of COVID-19.
After the vaccination, the immunized people would be followed and if some of them are infected with a coronavirus, it would be evaluated if the BCG vaccination held them in good place compared to other people of the same age group who didn’t had not been vaccinated.
When asked about the sample size and duration of the study, a senior NIRT official told PTI that the sample size was “sufficient and adequate” to achieve the objective of the trial and that the duration was “about six months and it could well be extended all vaccinated people had to be followed to get results.”
In addition to Chennai, the BCG-COVID trial, under the auspices of the ICMR, will be held in five other centers and “they are starting and it will start soon,” he said.
The Minister of Health hoped that vaccinating the elderly with time-tested BCG would help reduce the intensity of COVID-19, hospital admissions and death rates.
Describing Palaniswami’s state approval for a trial here as part of measures to protect the well-being of the population during the ongoing fight against COVID-19, Vijayabaskar said that antiviral measures will be further strengthened .
The NIRT under the ICMR is an internationally recognized institution for research on tuberculosis.
(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)