No evidence that BCG vaccination can protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


A research letter published in JAMA network showed that BCG vaccination in childhood had no protective effect against SARS-CoV-2 infection in adulthood. The authors report on a cohort of Israeli adults aged 35 to 41 years who received BCG vaccination in childhood compared with no vaccination and then tested for SARS-CoV-2. There was no statistically significant difference in the proportion of positive test results in the BCG-vaccinated group vs the unvaccinated group. There was 1 case of severe COVID-19 in each group, although there no deaths reported.

Source: Hamiel et al., 2020 JAMA Network

Source: Hamiel et al., 2020 JAMA Network

Journal Article: Hamiel et al., 2020. SARS-CoV-2 Rates in BCG-Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Young Adults. JAMA Network

Summary by Clive Gray

International Union of Immunological SocietiesUniversity of South AfricaInstitute of Infectious Disease and Molecular MedicineElizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids FoundationStellenbosch University