Old Vaccines Being Dusted Off To Potentially Provide Stopgap During Months-Long Development Of A New One
There is some history that shows that other vaccines can boost the immune system's response, providing some cross-protection from other viruses. But there is no evidence that the technique will work enough with coronavirus. But development of a new vaccine is supposed to take at least a year, and some think using older vaccines might help bridge that gap.
The Associated Press:
Could Old Vaccines For Other Germs Protect Against COVID-19?
Scientists are dusting off some decades-old vaccines against other germs to see if they could provide a little stopgap protection against COVID-19 until a more precise shot arrives. It may sound odd: Vaccines are designed to target a specific disease. But vaccines made using live strains of bacteria or viruses seem to boost the immune system’s first line of defense, a more general way to guard against germs. And history books show that sometimes translates into at least some cross-protection against other, completely different bugs. (Neergaard, 4/13)
Why An Old TB Vaccine Is Getting Attention In The Fight Against Covid-19
In the desperate search for ammunition to fend off the Covid-19 pandemic, a decades-old tuberculosis vaccine, given in huge numbers around the world, is gaining newfound attention. Researchers in Australia and the Netherlands are testing the idea that the vaccine, known as BCG — short for bacille Calmette-Guérin — could have broad power to boost the immune system against the novel coronavirus. In the United States, a research group in Boston hopes to test the vaccine in front line health workers for the same purpose. (Branswell, 4/14)
The New York Times:
Millions Of Children Are At Risk For Measles As Coronavirus Fears Halt Vaccines
More than 100 million children could be at risk for measles because countries around the world are suspending national immunization programs in order to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection, international public health leaders warned on Monday. So far, 24 low- and middle-income countries, including Mexico, Nigeria and Cambodia, have paused or postponed such programs, according to the Measles and Rubella Initiative, a consortium whose members include UNICEF, the American Red Cross, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Hoffman, 4/13)