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 MedicineScience Education PrizesElizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids Foundation