The reasons for the lower SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels in the BCG group were not clear, according to Moshe Arditi, co-senior author of the study.
The BCG vaccine is typically used against Tuberculosis (TB) and mandatorily given to children in India. Apart from preventing TB, it also prevents many respiratory illnesses.
Senior immunologist Dr Seyed Hasnain showed that countries and regions with BCG vaccinations have witnessed fewer Covid-19 mortalities, called it a “solid” study.
The BCG vaccine will be administered after obtaining informed consent from participants who will then be closely monitored for 6 months, the BMC said.
The study will be carried out in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi in approximately 1,500 healthy volunteers above 60-years of age, an ICMR scientist said.
In a new development, the State government on Wednesday gave its approval to test the efficacy of the BCG vaccine in reducing Covid mortality among the elderly.
Health Minister C Vijayabaskar hoped that vaccinating the elderly with the time tested BCG would help reduce the intensity of COVID-19, admissions at hospitals and mortality rates.
BCG's benefit, according to some studies, is in some malignant cancer cases where it may improve the resistance power by working as an immunomodulator on the body to kill the target cells.