A small number of independent studies have looked at the links between BCG vaccine rates and COVID-19 infections globally. These studies say that there are fewer cases of COVID-19 in countries where people receive the BCG vaccine. However, differences between countries such as the stage of the pandemic in each country, differences in testing rates for COVID-19, differences in demographics and economic and health service differences could influence these reported infection rates (World Health Organization 2020).
Two ongoing randomised controlled trials in Australia and the Netherlands are looking at the effects of BCG vaccination in frontline health-care workers who are caring for patients with COVID-19. When the results of these trials are available, the World Health Organization will evaluate the evidence they present.
In the absence of evidence, neither the WHO nor the HSE recommends the BCG vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19. To protect yourself and others from coronavirus, please continue to follow public health advice to maintain social distancing and wash your hands properly and often.
Things to Remember
Opinions alone are not a reliable basis for claims about the effects of treatments.
Personal experiences or anecdotes alone are an unreliable basis for most claims about the effects of treatments.
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