Mozambique to test tuberculosis vaccine in combating COVID-19 pandemic

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A health worker collects blood sample for COVID-19 antibody test in Maputo, Mozambique on Aug. 3, 2020. (Xinhua/Israel Zefanias)

The Manhica Health Research Center in Mozambique (CISM) on Wednesday announced it will start a survey to assess the efficacy of the Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin (BCG) tuberculosis vaccine against COVID-19.

FILE PHOTO: A health worker collects blood sample for COVID-19 antibody test in Maputo, Mozambique. (Xinhua/Israel Zefanias)

According to the scientific director of CISM, Francisco Saute, research on the BCG vaccine will start this month, and it has already been ordered in Europe, and the international committee is awaiting authorization of bioethics.

“Research on this vaccine will take 18 months for the final results of its effectiveness,” Saute said while speaking to the press in Maputo.

The BCG may also be beneficial in combating COVID-19, that is the hypothesis that arises, Saute noted.

Saute added that “it may be that the vaccine does not prevent infection, but does manage to prevent the most serious forms of infection by the novel coronavirus.”

Saute said that a total of 520 health professionals will be involved in the research.

“The vaccine is already available and we have the order ready to come to Mozambique, we have researchers, and equipment ready to start the tests,” he said.

As of Tuesday, Mozambique has recorded 45,785 COVID-19 cases and 480 deaths.

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